Thursday, August 22, 2013

Better know a politician: Tom Cotton

Name: Tom Cotton

Position: Member of Congress

District: Arkansas's 4th Congressional District (AR-4)

Political Party: Republican

Previous position: Consultant at McKinsey and Company

Future position: Cotton has announced his intention to run for the United States Senate seat in Arkansas to face Democratic Senator Mark Pryor. Pryor is a Democratic Senator from a largely Conservative state. Because of this, most people assume that Pryor is quite vulnerable. Pryor's Senate seat is of special interest to the Republican party because they see this as a relatively easy opportunity to pick up a crucial Senate seat.

Previous election: Tom Cotton 59% Gene Jeffress 37%

Next election: Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Arkansas. If he wins, it'll trigger an election against Pryor in November of 2014.

Leadership: House Committee on Financial Services
House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Fundraising (2014 cycle): Source: OpenSecrets:
Raised: $1,137,856
Spent: $210,835
Cash on hand: $1,045,372

Top contributors:
  1. Club for Growth $74,800
  2. Arkwest Communications $20,800
  3. Dillard's $13,000
  4. Stephens Group $12,150
  5. Bank of the Ozarks $10,400

Recent elections:
2012 House: Tom Cotton: 59% Gene Jeffress: 37%


Abortion. Cotton is a pro-life Republican. He has stated that he wants to re-establish a culture of life. He has announced his opposition to stem-cell research and human cloning. He also has announced that he would not support any family planning assistance that includes abortion services.

Budget/Economy. He does not support defense spending cuts. He is, in fact, very critical of the cuts that have already been made to the military citing that they were made to accommodate the President's radical liberal agenda.

He has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his zeal to show how Conservative he can be. He has been a vocal critic of the current taxation system. He has stated that he would support lowering taxes and will not support any tax increase on any tax bracket.

Cotton has not been a supporter of the stimulus packages. His Facebook page has indicated his displeasure for the stimulus packages, stopping just short of calling it a waste of money.He has demanded a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. He has also stated that he would like to limit federal spending growth to per-capita inflation rate.

Civil Rights. He has been a supporter of the “traditional” definition of marriage. He has vocalized his support for the Defense of Marriage Act. He also has stated that to have a strong family, you must have a strong marriage, which depends on the traditional understanding of marriage. Despite this, he is not a current sponsor of H.J. Res. 51 which is the latest attempt to propose an amendment to the Constitution defining marriage. He is not a co-sponsor of H.R. 1755, the Employee Non-discriminaton Act of 2013

He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Education. He believes in the ideals of charter schools which would hold that school choice is a key component of education reform. He also believes in competition between schools. Somewhat not surprising, is that he does not believe in federal grants for education reforms.

Just a few weeks ago, he voted against the student loan legislation in Congress. Cotton, himself, was a recipient of Stafford loans while attending Harvard Law School. Cotton stated that his vote was based on his opposition to the nationalization of the student-loan business, which he claimed was a part of Obamacare.

Energy/Environment. He has supported offshore energy production and believes we need more oil and gas exploration and production. He does not believe that cap and trade would have any effect on global temperatures. He also believes that we should explore proven energy reserves to keep energy prices low. He does not believe in a cap and trade system because he thinks it would make America less effective in the world's economy. Based on that, it sounds like he does not support the EPA regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Foreign policy. Cotton, who is a former member of the military, believes that the Iraq and Afghanistan War were justified and necessary. He also supports combat operations in Afghanistan.

Gun control. He has been supportive of the 2nd Amendment. Part of the reason that Pryor is in trouble in Arkansas is because of a perceived weakness on gun control. He also received an endorsement from the Gun Owners of America. He opposes any restrictions on gun purchases. Those restrictions would include closing the gun show loophole.

Health care. Cotton does not support the Affordable Care Act, which may apparently include student loan legislation. He disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision in the case for the Affordable Care Act and believes that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. He has voted to defund, repeal, and replace federal care with free market healthcare.

Immigration. He does not support any earned path to citizenship. Because of this, he does not support the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill. He, also, supports exiting the United States in order for immigrants to gain citizenship.

Welfare. He has voted for maintaining the work requirement for welfare recipients.

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