Heading in to an election year, Rep. Tom Cole wanted to make sure that it was the important things that got his attention.
That's the work ethic the 10-year Congressman is promoting ahead of his reelection campaign, a message he spread when he toured the area last week.
If reelected, Cole, R-Moore, hopes to return to Washington D.C. to address some of the big issues that Congress has put off in favor of short-term issues, Cole said.
"Now through the election, there won't be a government shutdown, there won't be a standoff," Cole said. "The downside is that we're postponing dealing with the big problems."
Cole referred to overspending as substantial, despite spending being at its lowest level since the second Bush administration. Cole also targeted increased use of entitlement programs, particularly Medicare.
"One of the things people my age need to realize is that we can't keep spending the way we have in the past," Cole said, stating that the burden of paying for increased medical costs falls increasingly to the young.
Cole championed his ability to put together bi-partisan support for issues he felt Republicans and Democrats in Congress could agree on. One of the few Republicans in the House to vote in favor of Hurricane Sandy relief in 2012, Cole also cited a bill he wrote that was signed in to law by President Barack Obama several weeks ago.
The bill, supported by Okla. Sen. Tom Coburn, eliminates $36 million in federal funding for political national conventions, instead diverting that money into funding for pediatric disease research.
While Cole predicts enough victories for the Republican party in this year's election to retain the House and take control of the Senate, it's that ability for Republicans to "accept reality" and work with Obama and Democrat leaders where they can to accomplish as much as they can that will best aid the nation's recovery from economic recession.
"[Obama] is the President. Some folks may not like that, but he won the popular vote," Cole said.