New Appropriations chair talks energy, environment spending

By Andres Picon | 04/16/2024 06:29 AM EDT

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole laid out his vision Monday for the fiscal 2025 appropriations process.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the new House Appropriations Committee chair, speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Rep. Tom Cole took the gavel of the House Appropriations Committee last week with a sense of urgency, desperate to avoid the kinds of delays that nearly derailed the fiscal 2024 spending bills.

The Oklahoma Republican — whom House leaders last week promoted from chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee — is already anticipating thorny debates over toplines and policy riders, including around the energy and environment bills.

“Look, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult, and every day we get closer to the election, the more reluctant Congress is to do anything,” Cole said Monday.


“I told my cardinals and the whole committee, ‘I’m gonna work you guys really hard because you’re gonna have to be worked hard, and you’re gonna work your staff really hard, because we gotta get these things [done],’” he said.