Rep Cole hosts town hall in Lawton

Rep Cole hosts town hall in Lawton

LAWTON, Okla._Nearly 100 people showed up at the Great Plains Technology Center for a town hall meeting with Representative Tom Cole.

Thursday's town hall meeting was Cole's last stop before the fall congressional session. From noon until 3:30 p.m., Cole took questions from people in Lawton on their concerns.

Many of the questions asked at the town hall regarded veteran issues. Something Cole says he personally understands. Cole says his father was part of the VA system and he knows that the system needs work.

"My dad was a vet and went through the VA system, and spent the last 12 years of his life in VA institutions. We got great care, we always did. I know there's a lot of people in the VA doing a good, but when you get a lot of people in one room and hear story after story that we aren't doing nearly enough as we need to do," Cole said.

Cole says some of the problems stem from funding and staffing. He says hearing from veterans themselves will help make a difference.

"There are a number people here today that are actually signing privacy releases so we can make inquiries on their behalf and see what the issues are," Cole explained.

Cole says he hopes to make progress during this upcoming session, but they will have a long way to go.

"Legislatively, we are going to continue working it pretty hard, make sure the funding is there and hold people accountable when they just don't do their jobs. And we have clearly a lot of that," Cole said.

Another topic during Thursday's meeting was Planned Parenthood. Cole says he, along with every member of the Oklahoma delegation, has voted against funding for Planned Parenthood. He says there is only way to end it.

"The easiest thing to do is to elect a president that will say 'I will not allow funding for Planned Parenthood,'" Cole said.

Cole says he has been grateful to hear from Oklahomans on all of their concerns over the last month. He says it helps educate him more on the individual portions of a bill.