Tom Cotton

Tom Cotton

ARKANSAS' 4th DISTRICT

Cotton Requests USDA Extend Loan Repayment Date for Turner Grain Farmers

2014/08/28

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 225-3772 Cotton Requests USDA Extend Loan Repayment Date for Turner Grain Farmers Washington, D.C.— Congressman Tom Cotton today joined his fellow members of the Arkansas House delegation in sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding Turner Grain Merchandising Inc., in Brinkley Arkansas. The letter calls on Secretary Vilsack to protect Arkansas farmers awaiting repayment from Turner by extending their loan repayment dates.   We are writing to request USDA, through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), work to ensure that we do not disrupt a considerable portion of America’s most productive agricultural base because badly-needed funds were tied up in litigation.  Specifically, we request the FSA extend the Commodity Credit Corp. loan repayment date for all farmers who are depending on payment from Turner Grain to pay off those loans.  We recommend a period of 180-days to give farmers and the agricultural community in general some sense of assurance.  Further, we recommend that the Agency revisit the extension after 90-days to determine if additional time will be needed beyond the current 180-days.   “Secretary Vilsack has the capability to provide a lifeline to Arkansas farmers and protect Arkansas taxpayers from shouldering the burden of Turner Grain’s apparent  business errors and mismanagement,” said Congressman Cotton. “I look forward to his prompt response to this important matter.”   The full text of the letter can be found here. Read More

Recently Proposed Ozone Standards are Bad News for Arkansas

2014/08/13

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a set of proposed ozone standards that will be the most stringent in history and will put our state’s ability to produce low-cost power in jeopardy. What’s worse, the EPA has done little to demonstrate any benefit these new regulations would have on our long-term environmental health. A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that these new ozone regulations could cost Arkansas over $240 million in compliance costs, put further pressure on our state’s coal fired power plants, and result in the loss of more than 10,000 jobs—at a time when too many Arkansans are underemployed or out of work. But that’s not all, take a look at the list below for more information on what these regulations would mean for the Natural State. Arkansas could experience 10,489 lost jobs annually An across the board rise in energy costs that will ultimately cost consumers more—sometimes nearly $500 more annually. Arkansas would face a $19 million increase in costs for residents to own or operate their vehicles—including cars, trucks, and 18-wheelers. Three quarters of Arkansas’s coal-fired power plants would be forced to shutdown permanently.  Rest assured that I will continue to look for ways to fight back against EPA’s overregulation.   Read More

Weekly Wrap-Up: July 21, 2014 - August 1, 2014

2014/08/02

House Foreign Affairs Committee  Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee met to review the deteriorating security situation in Iraq. Specifically, we examined the threat posed by ISIS and Iranian involvement in the situation, as well as the U.S. response. Click here to learn more about this hearing. The committee also held a mark-up of two bills pertaining to the conflict in Israel. Click here to learn more about this markup.  Tuesday, I attended a subcommittee hearing on Malaysian Flight 17 and the escalating crisis in Ukraine. As you may know, on July 17, 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a surface to air missile killing all 298 people on board. Click here for more about this hearing. I also attended a full committee hearing on the Iran nuclear negotiations, which continued the committee’s oversight of the Administration’s decision to extend nuclear negotiations with Iran for an additional four months—including the prospects for and implications of a final agreement.  Click here to learn more about this hearing. Wednesday, the committee held a mark-up on several pieces of legislation supporting Israel, human rights, and religious freedom.  Click here to learn more about this markup.  House Financial Services Committee Last week, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to assess the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act four years after it was enacted into law. Specifically, the committee examined how Dodd-Frank’s regulatory burdens are hurting our hometown small banks and credit unions. Local financial institutions are struggling as big banks have only gotten bigger and bureaucrats in Washington have become more powerful.  As a result, Arkansans are finding it harder to get a loan or to have a relationship with their local banker as branches disappear. As we’ve seen with Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank Act is another 1,000-page, one-size-fits-all Washington solution that ended up hurting taxpayers and costing Arkansas jobs. Click here to learn more about this hearing.  This week, the committee considered legislation to rein in the excessively loose monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.  Since late 2008 the Fed has been experimenting with monetary policy and interest rates under the guise of trying to lower the unemployment rate.  Although the economy has started to recover, the effects of the Fed’s policies have resulted in no return on savings accounts that many seniors depend on and rising prices of everyday items such as food and gasoline.  These trends cannot continue.  The bill recently passed by the Financial Services Committee would direct the Federal Reserve to follow a clear monetary policy rule—not improvisation—in setting policy to better focus on price stability and transparency.  Click here to learn more. Meriam Ibrahim’s Departure From Sudan Last week, Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman imprisoned for her marriage to a non-Muslim and her refusal to denounce Christianity was finally permitted to leave Sudan. Last month, I introduced a bill that would have given Meriam permanent legal status in the United States. The day before her release, I participated in a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing to further examine her case. I also had the opportunity to discuss Miriam’s situation and religious freedom more broadly on the Family Research Council Washington Watch Radio Show. It is a travesty that Meriam was imprisoned in the first place, but even more troubling that her situation is part of a growing pattern of persecution of Christians around the world that must be stopped. As a country founded by religious refugees, and for whom religious freedom is our very first freedom, the United States must always stand for religious liberty. Meriam’s struggle is a reminder of that duty and honor.  Christians United for Israel   Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with several Arkansas members of Christians United for Israel in my DC office. We discussed the ongoing challenges in Israel, Iran’s nuclear program, and the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014, which passed the House later that evening.   Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 The problems at the VA are unconscionable. That’s why this week the House passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, legislation that implements a number of needed reforms to the VA. I was pleased the Senate followed suit and also passed this legislation and look forward to the President signing it into law. This bill is an important first step toward reforming the VA, but it cannot be our only step. We must remain vigilant and work to ensure this agency is worthy of the sacrifice and dedication of our veterans. Rest assured, I will continue to fight to protect our veterans. Click here to read my full statement.  The Student and Family Tax Simplification Act  Last week, I joined 226 of my colleagues in supporting the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act—legislation that simplifies current education tax benefits to ease the cost burden of a college education. This bill consolidates four current tax benefits for higher education into a reformed American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), a simplified and expanded credit. Click here to learn more about this important bill.  Honoring the Life of Mark Williams  Wednesday, I spoke on the House Floor in memory of Mark Williams, a longtime police officer and Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy instructor. Click here to watch the video and read the full text of my remarks.    Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act Instead of protecting species that are truly at risk, the Obama administration has abused the Endangered Species Act to launch a regulatory assault on Arkansas landowners and sportsmen. That’s why this week the House passed the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act, legislation that rightly reforms an outdated species-listing process, providing transparency and input from Arkansans during the Endangered Species List classification process. Click here to read my full statement.  Staff-led Veterans Assistance Session Members of my staff will be holding Veterans Assistance Sessions in Hope, Arkadelphia, and Hot Springs on August 12, 2014 to provide information and answer any VA related questions. Please visit my website for more details.  Arkansans in the Capitol  [[{"fid":"538","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] Rep. Cotton with (from left to right) Jim Phillips and Ajay Malshe with NanoMech, Ken Wade with the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Derek and Carlee Helms with the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee of the American Farm Bureau Federation   Read More

In Memory of Longtime Arkansas Police Officer and Law Enforcement Training Academy Instructor Mark Williams

2014/07/31

Yesterday, I spoke on the House Floor in memory of Mark Williams, a longtime police officer and Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy instructor. The video of my speech and the full text of my remarks can be found below. [[{"fid":"535","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"July 30, 2014: Rep. Tom Cotton Speaks in Memory of Mark Williams on the House Floor","height":"380","width":"640","class":"media-element file-full"}}]]   Full Text of Remarks "Today, I want to honor the life of longtime Arkansas Police Officer and Law Enforcement Training Academy instructor Mark Williams. "Born and raised in El Dorado, Mark began his law-enforcement career in his hometown with the El Dorado Police Department in 1977, serving as a Patrolman, Detective, and Sergeant. "Mark also served as a supervisor in the Hope Police Department’s Patrol Division before joining the faculty of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1994, where he trained new police officers until his retirement in 2013. "Mark’s commitment to Arkansas didn’t end there. He was also a gifted musician, who served as an “Artist in Education”—playing his guitar to entertain and educate children across South Arkansas.  "I extend my deepest condolences to Mark’s wife, children, and grandchildren on their loss. May they find comfort in knowing that Mark’s legacy live on with the thousands of Arkansas police officers he trained over nearly two decades at the Academy and in the countless children and Arkansans he inspired with his music." Read More

Cotton Statement on the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014

2014/07/30

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt: 202-225-3772 Cotton Statement on the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle) released the following statement on passage of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014:   “The problems at the VA are unconscionable. For years, politicians like President Obama have made the VA a political talking point, but taken little action to change it. Today, that begins to change with the passage of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act. This legislation implements a number of needed reforms to the VA, including allowing veterans to choose private-sector health care if they were forced to wait more than 30 days for an appointment or live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility. And it allows for the immediate firing of any employee who fails to uphold the VA’s mission to support our veterans.  “This bill is an important first step toward reforming the VA, but it cannot be our only step. We must remain vigilant and work to ensure this agency is worthy of the sacrifice and dedication of our veterans. Rest assured, I will continue to fight to protect our veterans.”  ### Read More

The Student and Family Tax Simplification Act

2014/07/30

Last week, I joined 226 of my colleagues in supporting the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act—legislation that simplifies current education tax benefits to ease the cost burden of a college education. This bill consolidates four current tax benefits for higher education into a reformed American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), a simplified and expanded credit. It also includes strong anti-fraud provisions, reduces credit overpayments, and excludes Pell Grants from being considered as normal income. Currently, there are 15 overlapping education provisions that the IRS’ manual takes 90 pages to explain. These complex provisions can be difficult to understand and cost many deserving students and families tax benefits that may be available to them.  Higher education has become even more unaffordable thanks to Washington’s misguided economic policies. But this is an important step toward relief. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to consider the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act immediately. Read More

Cotton Votes to Protect Arkansas Landowners from EPA Overreach and Abuse

2014/07/29

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt: 202-225-3772 Cotton Votes to Protect Arkansas Landowners from EPA Overreach and Abuse Washington, D.C.—Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle) released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 4315, the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act: “Instead of protecting species that are truly at risk, the Obama administration has abused the Endangered Species Act to launch a regulatory assault on Arkansas landowners and sportsmen. Arkansas is the Natural State and our long tradition of protecting those species considered endangered is a priority, but the Endangered Species Act is no longer serving its intended purpose. “This bill rightly reforms an outdated species-listing process, providing transparency and input from Arkansans during the Endangered Species List classification process. The fact that the administration has already threatened to veto this bill shows how out of touch President Obama and his allies are with Arkansans. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to consider this legislation immediately and stop the Obama administration from inflicting anymore unnecessary hardships on our state.” ### Read More

Cotton Pleased with Meriam Ibrahim’s Departure From Sudan

2014/07/24

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt: 202-225-3772 Cotton Pleased with Meriam Ibrahim’s Departure From Sudan Washington, D.C.—Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle) released the following statement on Meriam Ibrahim’s departure from Sudan last night: “I couldn’t be more pleased that Meriam Ibrahim was permitted to leave Sudan. I look forward to her arrival in the United States, where she will now be able to practice her Christian faith freely. “It is a travesty that Meriam was imprisoned at all, but even more troubling that her situation is part of a pattern of persecution of Christians around the world that must be stopped. As a country founded by religious refugees, and for whom religious freedom is our very first freedom, the United States must always stand for religious liberty. Meriam’s struggle is a reminder of that duty and honor.”  ### Read More

Arkansas Delegation Announces Disaster Declaration for Farmers, Ranchers Affected by Flooding

2014/07/23

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt: 202-225-3772 Arkansas Delegation Announces Disaster Declaration for Farmers, Ranchers Affected by Flooding  Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) today announced that 23 Arkansas counties have been designated as disaster areas, allowing farmers and ranchers to receive assistance to recover from losses caused by severe weather in the state. In June, east Arkansas was ravaged by flash flooding, which devastated thousands of acres of crops and pastures.  “Last month’s flash floods not only damaged Arkansans’ homes and businesses, but destroyed crops and washed away land used for livestock,” said Pryor. “Storms like these remind us of the importance of supporting disaster relief and helping our neighbors in need. I’m pleased the USDA will provide this assistance to help our farmers and ranchers recover.” “The severe weather conditions in Arkansas last month brought flash flooding, hail, and other destructive forces of nature that were devastating to agriculture producers in the path of these storms. As a result of this declaration, farmers will now be eligible to apply for emergency loans through the FSA to help them recover their losses and continue operations. Considering that agriculture makes up a large portion of our state’s economy, this relief is essential to many Arkansans who faced significant losses as a result of these storms,” Boozman said. “Arkansas’ First District has some of the most productive agricultural growers in the country, but this year’s widespread crop damage illustrates the uncertainty they face every day. Heavy rains and high water have hurt a wide range of crops grown in the First District, creating significant producer losses with few options to salvage the fall harvest,” said Crawford. “While a Secretarial Disaster Declaration does not solve the ongoing flooding dilemma facing our producers, it does provide emergency loan assistance to lessen uncertainty and get our growers back in their fields next year. I’m grateful Secretary Vilsack recognized that need.” “Agriculture is an integral part of Arkansas’s economy, and today’s declaration will provide essential assistance to help Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers recover from challenges caused by the recent severe weather,” said Griffin. “Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers are vital to our state’s economy.  As they recover from this latest wave of severe weather, I’m grateful they will have much-needed assistance from USDA,” said Womack. "I appreciate Secretary Vilsack's quick approval of Governor Beebe's disaster declaration request for the 23 impacted counties," said Cotton. "I have heard from many farmers about the impact of the recent flooding, and I look forward to working with our friends in Arkansas to make sure farmers are able to access the emergency funds they need." Under this designation, agricultural producers in Cross, Jackson, Independence, Lee, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, St. Francis, White, and Woodruff Counties will be eligible to apply for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans. Arkansas, Cleburne, Craighead, Crittenden, Faulkner, Izard, Jefferson, Lawrence, Phillips, Poinsett, Pulaski, Sharp, and Stone Counties have been named contiguous disaster counties. Arkansans can reach out to their local FSA offices for more information. ### Read More

Weekly Wrap-Up: July 14, 2014 - July 18, 2014

2014/07/18

House Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a subcommittee hearing to discuss the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL has taken over large territories in Syria and northern Iraq and is now controlling more territory than any other al-Qaeda affiliate or ideologically sympathetic terrorist group. This group poses one of the greatest threats to U.S. security interests in the Middle East. Click here to learn more about this hearing. Wednesday, the committee also met to review Iran’s destabilizing role throughout the Middle East – including Iraq, Syria, and Gaza. Witnesses assessed how Iran will respond to the looming deadline to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on their nuclear program. The hearing also examined strategies for effectively countering Iran’s destructive activities. Click here to learn more about this hearing. House Financial Services Committee Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee held a subcommittee hearing to discuss much-needed regulatory relief proposals for community banks, including my bill, the American Savings Promotion Act (H.R. 3374). It seems that too few Americans have learned the importance of savings. In 2012, the annual savings rate in the United States was just 4.1 percent. That is why I introduced the American Savings Promotion Act, legislation that would authorize the use of prize-linked savings accounts to encourage savings. Click here to learn more about this important bill. Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee held a Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee hearing to review the Bank Account Seizure of Terrorist Assets Act (BASTA). The BASTA Act would seize assets of convicted terrorists. Click here to learn more. Finally, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the committee on monetary policy and the economy. Click here for more information. From the House Floor Tuesday, the House approved highway funding legislation that will keep infrastructure projects funded through the peak summer construction season. In the longer term, we can’t keep spending money we don’t have on big-city transportation and infrastructure projects that don’t benefit Arkansas taxpayers. The highway program is running out of money because liberal politicians waste too much on projects like streetcars in Charlotte, instead of the roads and bridges needed in places like Arkansas. I urge the Senate to pass the House-passed legislation immediately. Protecting Our Troops   It’s recently come to light that soldiers fighting on the front lines are receiving letters at home informing them that their service will no longer be needed when their deployment ends. This action is another shameful display of President Obama's disregard for our country’s warfighters. This week, I urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to include an amendment in their mark-up of their Department of Defense Appropriations Bill that would stop these reductions in force. While no such amendment was included, I am hopeful one will be included when the bill is considered by the full Senate. The Regulatory De-militarization Act Did you know numerous federal regulatory agencies were granted law enforcement power in the 2002 Homeland Security Act? As a result, agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and even the Department of Education now have their own highly armed, SWAT-like police forces. The existence of highly armed units within such agencies is duplicative, costly, and can be hazardous to peaceful, law-abiding citizens. That is why I introduced the Regulatory De-militarization Act, legislation that will repeal federal regulatory agencies’ arrest and firearm authority and prohibit them from purchasing weaponry regulated under the National Firearms Act, such as machine guns and grenades. Arkansas Meetings Wednesday, I met with Arkansas members of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. We discussed the uncertainty the EPA has created for gasoline programs and how Obamacare impacts their industry. I also met with Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach and Director of Policy Zac Bradley while they were in DC. We discussed several issues Arkansans are facing including the recent flooding in northeast Arkansas, listings under the Endangered Species Act, and the Water Resources Development Act. We also discussed the importance of the House-passed legislation to extend the highway projects in Arkansas. Staff-led Veterans Assistance Session Members of my staff will be holding Veterans Assistance Sessions in Monticello and Hamburg on July 22, 2014 to provide information and answer any VA related questions. Please visit my website for more details. Read More

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Contact Information

415 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3772
Fax 202-225-1314
cotton.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Foreign Affairs

Tom Cotton represents the Fourth Congressional District of Arkansas in the United States House of Representatives. He is serving his first term in the House and sits on the Financial Services and House Foreign Affairs Committees.

Born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County, Tom is a sixth generation Arkansan and a native of the congressional district he now represents. He graduated from Dardanelle high school, Harvard, and Harvard Law School.

The 9/11 attacks occurring during Tom’s final year in law school, causing him to leave law after a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals and a brief period in private practice to join the armed forces. Tom declined a commission as a JAG attorney and instead joined the United States Army as an Infantry Officer.

Tom served nearly five years on active duty, completing two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, where he led an infantry platoon in daily combat patrols. Tom’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab. Between his two combat tours, Tom served as a platoon leader with The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. He then served in Afghanistan as the operations officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team. After leaving active duty and before Congress, Tom worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co.


Serving With

Rick Crawford

ARKANSAS' 1st DISTRICT

Tim Griffin

ARKANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Steve Womack

ARKANSAS' 3rd DISTRICT

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