GOP Rep Cole: Spending Bill ‘a Pretty Good Bill’

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) touted the controversial spending bill for fiscal year 2017 expected to pass Congress and be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

The legislation has been criticized by some Trump allies because it doesn’t provide funding for Trump’s proposed border wall, but does offer money for Planned Parenthood.

According to Cole, the bill was a “pretty good” one because it has bipartisan support and “everybody” was going to walk away with some wins.

Partial transcript as follows:

REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, actually, I’m working on appropriations first. I’d like to fund the government and, you know, that’s a place where we had a big breakthrough. Actually, the first real Democratic, Republican, and frankly, presidential negotiation of the Trump era just took place and was successful. In other words, we’re going to get, I think, a pretty good bill. We’re going to get it across the floor with a bipartisan majority and everybody, frankly, is going to walk away with some wins.


COLE: So it’s a way good dealmaking actually happens. So, you know, while we’re struggling with health care we’ve got an example in the appropriations process of how to move forward, in my view.

SCARBOROUGH: So, Congressman, is that a week extension or is it longer than that?

COLE: No, this will — this will fully fund the government. It’s not a C.R., it’s not an extension, it’s a full appropriations bill. I’m very pleased. The NIH will get a $2 billion increase, the Center for Disease Control increase, and a major military increase that the president fought for and won. Some border control money that he fought for and won. So the Democrats had some successes in some programs they like and also kept out a lot of the rioters which, frankly —


COLE: — Trump can deal with himself since he runs the government. So, again, it’s somebody everybody could walk away from. It will pass with a big bipartisan majority, so —

SCARBOROUGH: But you say funding. We talked about it before. So you said despite the proposed cuts, funding for the National Institute of Health — Institutes of Health is actually going to go up.

COLE: Yes, it really will, $2 billion. It’s a big increase. It’s the second year in a row we’ve been able to do $2 billion increases so I’m very pleased with that, yes. A very, very good thing.

SCARBOROUGH: There were some other things that we’d heard throughout the — throughout the past month or so — some pretty crazy suggestions on cuts. State Department I think I saw, there was what, 35-36 percent proposed cut. I know a lot of the Senate said that wasn’t going to pass. Do you — do you know off the top of your head, and I know it’s a big —

COLE: Yes. No, it’s pretty much level funding.


COLE: Now remember, that’s for this year — for the balance of the fiscal year ’17.


COLE: We’re late getting this done. The president’s proposals are for next year, although he certainly had some in the supplemental for cuts this year. But, you know, his main aim was to get additional defense spending. He got the — you know, a lot of what he wanted there. And he wanted to get additional money for border security. He didn’t get money for the wall, although to be fair, you couldn’t contract in the amount of time left in the year for that anyway, so he settled for what I think was a good decision on his part. More technology and, you know, repair of the structures that we have — the barriers that we have there now. So, a good start for the president. Again, he got some big wins and — but again, so did Congressional Republicans, so did Congressional Democrats.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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