OETA Executive Director Dan Schiedel,
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and
APTS President and CEO Patrick Butler
WASHINGTON - February 23, 2016 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented its Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK).
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to political leaders and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide education, public safety and civic leadership services to their communities.
"Congressman Tom Cole, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education), oversees the House's funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)," said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. "Congressman Cole's extraordinary leadership was instrumental in ensuring that the FY 2016 House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill included $445 million in level funding for CPB - the first time in five years the House has proposed anything but a zero for public broadcasting. In addition, Congressman Cole's support for public broadcasting during the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations negotiations helped ensure the enactment of level funding for not only CPB but also the Ready To Learn education program that has proven its ability to close the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. In addition, Chairman Cole helped ensure critical funding for the public broadcasting interconnection system that makes it possible for public television to serve everyone, everywhere, every day, for free, including the Native American nations of Oklahoma. Congressman Cole's central role in safeguarding these highly cost-effective federal investments is a fine example of a superb lawmaker at work. It is our great honor to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting award to Congressman Tom Cole."
"Throughout the years, millions of American families have felt the benefits of the diverse programs aired on public television," said Congressman Cole. "Many of us can recall gathering with our loved ones in front of the television for that favorite weekly program or catching one of public television's outstanding documentaries. Indeed, public television has the ability to bring families closer together because it encourages them to learn together. I am honored to be recognized by America's Public Television Stations for my efforts to protect, strengthen and empower local public stations. In the days ahead, I look forward to helping them continue to serve, inform and edify communities in every city and state across the nation."
Currently serving in his seventh term, Tom Cole was elected to Congress in 2002 to represent the Fourth District of Oklahoma. He is an advocate for strong national defense, a tireless advocate for taxpayers and small businesses. He is also a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments.
Congressman Cole is widely regarded as one of the GOP's top political strategists. He served as Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 1992 cycle. He also served as the Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee during the historic 2000 cycle in which Republicans won the presidency, the Senate and the House for the first time in 48 years. In the 2008 cycle, Congressman Cole served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Before Congress, he served Oklahoma as a State Senator and Secretary of State.
Congressman Cole is a member of three influential House committees, including the Appropriations, Budget and Rules Committees; he is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. He also serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and is a member of the Republican Steering Committee.
Congressman Cole is a fifth generation Oklahoman and an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. He and his wife, Ellen, have one son and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award was presented to Congressman Cole during The APTS Public Media Summit on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct - in concert with member stations - strategic planning, research, communications, advocacy and other activities that foster a strong and financially sound public television system providing essential public services to all Americans. Its affiliate APTS Action, Inc. promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy and through grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner bipartisan political support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.