Tulsa World: State’s congressional delegation picks up clout

Nov 03, 2010
In The News

WASHINGTON — Oklahoma’s congressional delegation received a huge boost following the Republican takeover in the U.S. House, and the state could be headed toward the kind of clout it enjoyed more than half-century ago.

"This is an opportunity for Oklahoma to begin to amass the kind of influence it had in the ’50s and ’60s,” Republican Rep. Tom Cole said.

Those days of longer-serving members of Congress, Cole said, gave Oklahoma clout that went far beyond its size.

Cole will remain on the House Appropriations Committee, one of the most coveted assignments in Congress, and will see his seniority increase.

He also pointed to Republican Rep. Frank Lucas’ expected chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee, adding Lucas will become the first Oklahoman to lead a House standing committee in decades.

Republican Rep. John Sullivan could be in the mix for a subcommittee chairmanship on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the more influential panels in Congress.

With Republican James Lankford’s victory in the 5th District race, the political makeup of the state’s seven-member congressional delegation will remain six Republicans and one Democrat.

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