|United States Senator|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
Serving with John Boozman
|Preceded by||Mark Pryor|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Arkansas's 4th district
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Mike Ross|
|Succeeded by||Bruce Westerman|
Thomas Bryant Cotton
May 13, 1977
Dardanelle, Arkansas, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (AB, JD) Claremont Graduate University|
|Years of service|
|Unit||506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (2005–2007)|
3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) (2007–2009)
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
Thomas Bryant Cotton (born May 13, 1977) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Arkansas since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2015.
In 2005, Cotton was commissioned in the United States Army, where as an infantry officer he rose to the rank of captain. His military record includes service in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge. He was elected as the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 4th congressional district in 2012 and to the Senate at age 37 in 2014, defeating two-term Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor.
Early life, education and military service (1977–2013)
Formative years and education
Thomas Bryant Cotton was born on May 13, 1977, in Dardanelle, Arkansas. Cotton's father, Thomas Leonard "Len" Cotton, was a district supervisor in the Arkansas Department of Health, and his mother, Avis (née Bryant) Cotton, was a schoolteacher who later became principal of their district's middle school. Cotton's family had lived in rural Arkansas for seven generations, and he grew up on his family's cattle farm. He attended Dardanelle High School where he played on the local and regional basketball teams; standing 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall, he was usually required to play center.
Cotton was accepted to Harvard University after graduating from high school in 1995. At Harvard, Cotton majored in government and was a member of the editorial board of The Harvard Crimson, often dissenting from the liberal majority. In articles, Cotton addressed what he saw as "sacred cows" such as affirmative action. He graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude in 1998 after only three years of study. Cotton’s senior thesis focused on The Federalist Papers.
After graduating from Harvard, Cotton was accepted into a master's program at Claremont Graduate University. He left in 1999, saying that he found academic life "too sedentary", and instead enrolled at Harvard Law School. Cotton graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. degree in 2002, and commenced a one year federal clerkship for Judge Jerry Edwin Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. When his clerkship was over, Cotton went into private practice, working briefly as an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to help pay off his student loans.
On January 11, 2005, Cotton enlisted in the United States Army, saying the September 11 attacks compelled him to join the Infantry Branch. In March 2005, he entered Officer Candidate School (OCS), and commissioned as a second lieutenant in June.
In May 2006, Cotton was deployed to Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) as a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. In Iraq, he led a 41-man air assault infantry platoon in the 506th Infantry Regiment, and planned and performed daily combat patrols. After completing his first tour of duty, in December 2006 Cotton was promoted to first lieutenant and re-assigned as a platoon leader for the 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.
In October 2008, Cotton was deployed to eastern Afghanistan. He was assigned within the Train Advise Assist Command – East at its Gamberi forward operating base (FOB) in Laghman Province as the Operations Officer of a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), where he planned daily counter-insurgency and reconstruction operations. His 11-month deployment ended on July 20, 2009, and he returned from Afghanistan.
In July 2010, Cotton transferred to the Army Reserve (USAR). In May 2013, after almost 8 years of service, Cotton was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. During his time in the service, Cotton completed two combat deployments overseas, was awarded a Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals, Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal. Cotton spent five years on active service.
Letter to The New York Times (2006)
In June 2006, while stationed in Iraq, Cotton gained international public attention after writing an open letter to the editor of The New York Times, asserting three journalists had violated "espionage laws" by publishing an article detailing a classified government program monitoring terrorists' finances. The New York Times did not publish Cotton's letter, but it was published on Power Line, a conservative blog that had been copied on the email. In the letter, Cotton called for the journalists to be prosecuted for espionage "to the fullest extent of the law", and incarcerated. He accused the newspaper of having "gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis." Cotton's claims circulated online and were reprinted in full elsewhere. According to Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University in 2011, the Espionage Act has never been used against journalists. Rosen argued accusing investigative journalists of engaging in espionage is "essentially saying that they’re working for another power, or aiding the enemy. That is culture war tactics taken to an extreme."
Political career (2013–present)
Shortly after Cotton's Afghanistan deployment ended, his former boss at the Claremont Institute introduced Cotton to Chris Chocola, a former congressman and the president of Club for Growth, a Republican political action committee. An attempt was made to draft Cotton for the 2010 United States Senate election in Arkansas to run against incumbent Democratic U.S. senator Blanche Lincoln. Cotton declined, believing his political candidacy would be premature. Following his active duty service, Cotton served in the Army Reserve and did consulting work for McKinsey & Company, before running for Congress in Arkansas' 4th congressional district following the retirement announcement of Democratic incumbent Mike Ross.
U.S. House of Representatives (2013–2015)
In September 2011, the Arkansas Times editor, Max Brantley, criticized Cotton for an article that he wrote in The Harvard Crimson in 1998, in which he questioned the value of the Internet as a teaching tool in the classroom, referring to the internet as having "too many temptations" to be useful in schools and libraries. Cotton later stated that the internet had matured since he wrote the article in 1998.
Beth Anne Rankin, the 2010 Republican nominee, and John David Cowart, who carried the backing of the Louisiana businessman and philanthropist Edgar Cason, were the only other Republican candidates in the race after candidate Marcus Richmond dropped out in February 2012. In the primary on May 22, 2012, Cotton won the Republican nomination, with 57.6% of the vote; in second place was Beth Ann Rankin who received 37.1% of the vote.
The Club for Growth endorsed Cotton. Of the $2.2 million Cotton raised for that campaign, Club for Growth donors were responsible for $315,000 and were Cotton's largest supporters. Cotton was also endorsed by Senator John McCain. Cotton was supported by both the Tea Party movement and the Republican establishment.
In the general election on November 6, Cotton defeated state senator Gene Jeffress, 59.5% to 36.7%. Cotton was the second Republican since Reconstruction Era of the United States to represent the 4th district. The first, Jay Dickey, held it from 1993 to 2001 – during the presidency of Bill Clinton, whose residence was in the district at the time. On January 3, 2013, Cotton was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives by Speaker John Boehner.
As a freshman, Cotton soon became a vocal opponent of the Obama administration's foreign and domestic policies. He voted for An Act to eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees, which prevented a 0.5% pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect in February 2013. Cotton voted against the 2013 Farm Bill over concerns about waste and fraud in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program voting later that month to strip funding from food stamps. He also voted against the revised measure, the Agricultural Act of 2014, which expanded crop insurance and a price floor for rice farmers.
Cotton accused Obama of holding up a "false choice" between his framework deal on Iran's nuclear program and war. Cotton was also criticized in some media outlets for underestimating what successful military action against Iran would entail, stating: "the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East again as we saw in Iraq. That's simply not the case." Drawing a comparison to President Bill Clinton's actions in 1998 during the Bombing of Iraq (1998), he elaborated: "Several days' air and naval bombing against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions." On July 21, 2015, Cotton and Mike Pompeo claimed to have uncovered the existence of secret side agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on procedures for inspection and verification of Iran's nuclear activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. Obama administration officials acknowledged the existence of agreements between Iran and the IAEA governing the inspection of sensitive military sites, but denied the characterization that they were "secret side deals", calling them standard practice in crafting arms-control pacts and arguing the administration had provided information about them to Congress.
- United States House Committee on Financial Services
- United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs
U.S. Senate (2015–present)
On August 6, 2013, Cotton officially announced he would challenge Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor for his seat in the United States Senate. Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call called Pryor the most vulnerable Senator seeking re-election. Cotton was endorsed by the conservative Club for Growth PAC, Senator Marco Rubio, the National Federation of Independent Business, and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who campaigned for Cotton. The Associated Press called the race for Cotton immediately after the polls closed; he prevailed by a margin of 56.5%-39.4%. Cotton was sworn into office on January 6, 2015.
During his term as U.S. Senator, Cotton has received multiple death threats. In 2018, Adam Albrett of Fairfax County, Virginia, was arrested for "faxing death threats" against President Donald Trump and members of Congress, including Cotton. Police traced the fax to Albrett using the phone number listed in the fax header.
In October 2019, James Powell, 43 and a resident of Arkansas, was charged by local authorities with "first-degree terroristic threatening" following an investigation by U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI. The felony charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. Arkansas Representative Rick Crawford, a Republican, was also threatened with death by Powell. In January 2020, 78-year-old Henry Edward Goodloe was sentenced to two years probation for sending a threatening letter and a package containing white powder to Cotton. Goodloe admitted to mailing an envelope containing white powder to Cotton's office, with a note stating, "You ignored me. Maybe this will get your attention." The Senate mail facility intercepted the letter, which included Goodloe's home address, and alerted a hazardous response team which determined the powder was unbleached flour and starch.
Cassandra Butts nomination
In February 2015, Obama renominated Cassandra Butts, a former White House lawyer, to be the United States ambassador to the Bahamas. However, Butts's nomination was blocked by several Republican U.S. Senators. First, Senator Ted Cruz placed a blanket hold on all U.S. State Department nominees. Cotton specifically blocked the nominations of Butts and ambassador nominees to Sweden and Norway after the Secret Service had leaked private information about a fellow member of Congress, although that issue was unrelated to those nominees. Cotton eventually released his holds on the nominees to Sweden and Norway, but kept his hold on Butts's nomination.
Butts told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that she had gone to see Cotton about his objections to her nomination and said he had told her that because he knew that President Obama and Butts were friends, it was a way to "inflict special pain on the president", Bruni said. Cotton's spokeswoman did not dispute Butts's characterization. Butts died on May 26, 2016, still awaiting a Senate vote.
During Trump's presidency, Cotton was characterized as a Trump loyalist. Cotton frequently met with Trump's staff during the transition period, and according to Steve Bannon, Cotton suggested John F. Kelly for the role of U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. Bannon told The New Yorker in November 2017: "Next to Trump, he's the elected official who gets it the most—the economic nationalism. Cotton was the one most supportive of us, up front and behind the scenes, from the beginning. He understands that the Washington élite—this permanent political class of both parties ... needs to be shattered." In the same article, Karl Rove, a senior figure in the George W. Bush administration, said Cotton was a more consensual figure than someone like Bannon.
In a CNN interview shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Cotton rejected the view that waterboarding is a form of torture. He said such "tough calls" to allow its return were an option the then president-elect Donald Trump was ready to follow: "If experienced intelligence officials come to the President of the United States and say we think this terrorist has critical information and we need to obtain it and this is the only way we can obtain it -- it's a tough call. But the presidency is a tough job. And if you're not ready to make those tough calls, you shouldn't seek the office. Donald Trump's a pretty tough guy, and he's ready to make those tough calls". During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said the United States should return to the use of waterboarding.
In September 2020, Trump shortlisted Cotton as a potential Supreme Court nominee, but Trump ultimately chose to nominate Amy Coney Barrett instead. With less than two months to the next presidential election, Cotton supported an immediate Senate vote on President Trump's nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Previously in March 2016, Cotton refused to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee during a presidential election year, providing his rationale with these questions: "Why would we cut off the national debate on the next justice? Why would we squelch the voice of the populace? Why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the make-up of the Supreme Court?"
In early January 2021, Cotton announced he would not support any attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election during the joint congressional certification of Electoral College results on January 6, 2021.
- United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
- United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- United States Senate Special Committee on Aging
- United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
- Joint Economic Committee
Domestic policy positions
Cotton drew scrutiny for columns he wrote for The Harvard Crimson about race relations in America, calling Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton "race-hustling charlatans" and saying race relations "would almost certainly improve if we stopped emphasizing race in our public life."
In 2016, Cotton rejected "the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration" in the United States, as "Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem". Cotton said that reduced sentencing for felons would destabilize the United States, arguing that "I saw this in Baghdad. We’ve seen it again in Afghanistan."
In November 2018, while arguing against a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, Cotton incorrectly said that there had been no hearings on the bill. PolitiFact stated Cotton had "ignored years of congressional debate and hearings on the general topics of the bill, as well as the consideration and bipartisan passage of largely similar bills at the House committee level, by the full House, and by the Senate Judiciary Committee." Arguing against the bill in question, the FIRST STEP Act, Cotton asserted that "convicts of certain sex-related crimes could accrue credits making them eligible for supervised release or 'pre-release' to a halfway house". A spokesperson for Mike Lee rebutted that "just because a federal offense is not on the specific list of ineligible offenses doesn't mean inmates who committed [a] non-specified offense will earn early release". The bill passed 87–12 on December 18, 2018. Cotton voted against it.
Black Lives Matter
Following the killing of George Floyd, Cotton rejected the view that there is "systemic racism in the criminal justice system in America." Amid the following protests, Cotton advocated on Twitter that the military be used to support police, and to give "No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters." In the military, the term "no quarter" refers to the killing of lawfully surrendering combatants, which is a war crime under the Geneva Convention. Cotton subsequently said that he was using the "colloquial" version of the phrase and cited examples of Democrats and the mainstream media also using the phrase.
A few days later, an opinion piece by Cotton entitled "Send in the Troops" was published by The New York Times arguing for the deployment of federal troops to counter looting and rioting in major American cities. Dozens of New York Times staff members sharply criticized the decision to publish Cotton's article, describing its rhetoric as dangerous. Following the negative response from staffers, The New York Times responded by saying the piece went through a "rushed editorial process" that will now be examined. Editorial page editor James Bennet resigned days later.
Statements about slavery
In July 2020, Cotton introduced the Saving American History Act of 2020, proposed legislation preventing the use of federal tax dollars for the teaching of The 1619 Project, an initiative of The New York Times. In an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Cotton commented on slavery: "As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction." Joshua D. Rothman, a history professor at the University of Alabama, responded that slavery was neither "necessary" nor on the way to "extinction" when America was founded, because it "was a choice defended or accepted by most white Americans for generations, and it expanded dramatically between the Revolution and the Civil War".
Nikole Hannah-Jones, director of The 1619 Project, tweeted: "If chattel slavery—heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit—were a 'necessary evil' as @TomCottonAR says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end". Cotton responded: "more lies from the debunked 1619 Project" and said he was "not endorsing or justifying slavery" because he was relaying what he believed were the "views of the Founders". However, historians have indicated that this representation of the founding generation's view of slavery is inaccurate and that the example used by Cotton to support this view came from the later generation which lived during the Civil War. "Of course slavery is an evil institution in all its forms, at all times in America's past, or around the world today," he told Fox News on July 27.
Cotton has an A rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which endorsed him during the 2014 election. The NRA's Chris W. Cox stated that "Tom Cotton will always stand up for the values and freedoms of Arkansas gun owners and sportsmen." In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Cotton stated that he did not believe any new gun control legislation would have prevented the mass shooting from taking place.
In January 2019, Cotton was one of thirty-one Republican senators to cosponsor the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill introduced by John Cornyn and Ted Cruz that would grant individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state the right to exercise this right in any other state with concealed carry laws while concurrently abiding by that state's laws.
Cotton opposes amnesty or a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
In July 2013, after the Senate's bipartisan Gang of Eight passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, an immigration reform proposal, House Republicans held a closed door meeting to decide whether to bring the bill to a vote. Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan spoke at one podium arguing for the bill's passage. Cotton spoke at another podium arguing against the bill, even exchanging terse comments with Speaker Boehner. The House decided to not consider the bill. Cotton supported President Trump's 2017 Executive Order 13769 that prohibited immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
On February 7, 2017, in the presence of President Trump, Cotton and Senator David Perdue (R-GA), jointly proposed a new immigration bill called the RAISE Act which would limit the family route or chain migration. The bill would set a limit on the number of refugees offered residency at 50,000 a year and would remove the Diversity Immigrant Visa. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) both expressed opposition to the bill.
Cotton, a supporter of President Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, was present at a meeting on January 11, 2018 in which Trump is alleged to have described Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries". Cotton and Senator David Perdue (R-GA) said in a joint statement that "we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically". In a statement, the White House did not deny the President had made the comment, although Trump did in a tweet the following day. The Washington Post reported that Cotton and Perdue told the White House they heard "shithouse" rather than "shithole". Sen. Cotton reiterated on CBS's Face The Nation interview "I certainly didn't hear what Sen. Durbin has said repeatedly. Sen. Durbin has a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings, though, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by that," Cotton added. Slate magazine asserted that Cotton was referring to a misquotation Dick Durbin (D-IL) made of a 2013 gathering at the Obama White House at which Durbin was not present, nor had he claimed to be present. Durbin was not the only person at the meeting to confirm Trump's words—another was Lindsey Graham.
In December 2018, Cotton placed a senatorial hold on H.R.7164 - A Bill to add Ireland to the E-3 Non-immigrant Visa Program. The bill did not create new non-immigrant visas, but rather allowed Irish college graduates to apply for any surplus E-3 visas in Specialty Occupations, that had gone unused by Australians within their annual cap of 10,500. The bi-partisan bill which had passed the House of Representatives on November 28, 2018 and had also received the backing of the Trump administration did not reach the Senate floor for consideration as a consequence of Sen. Cotton's hold.
Cotton's immigration positions have led to protests in his Washington D.C office. In January, 2018, five demonstrators were arrested for obstructing Cotton's office while they were protesting his position on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They were released after paying a $50 fine.
In 2012, Cotton said, "Strong families also depend on strong marriages, and I support the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I also support the Defense of Marriage Act." In 2013, Cotton voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, saying that the federal powers in the act were too broad.
In June 2013, Cotton voted in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill to ban abortion after 20 or more weeks following fertilization. Cotton has stated that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were "wrongly decided as a constitutional matter" and it should be a decision of politicians in the individual states. He was one of 183 co-sponsors of the version of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act introduced in 2013.
Cotton has stated "I oppose the destruction of human embryos to conduct stem-cell research and all forms of human cloning."
In August 2013, Cotton voted against the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, that sets interest rates on student loans to the 10-year Treasury note plus a varying mark up for undergraduate and graduate students. Cotton preferred a solution that ended what he described as the "...federal-government monopoly on the student-lending business." His characterization referred to the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that changed the way the federal government makes student loans.
Foreign policy positions
During a February 5, 2015 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Cotton called for housing more prisoners at Guantanamo Bay instead of closing it. He said of the prisoners in the camp "every last one them can rot in hell, but as long as they don't do that they can rot in Guantanamo Bay". In the following June, he was one of 21 Republicans in the Senate to oppose an amendment to the 2016 Defense Authorization Act which would impair any future president's ability to authorize torture. The amendment, which passed, had bipartisan support and was sponsored by John McCain and Dianne Feinstein.
In September 2016, Cotton was one of thirty-four senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of State John Kerry advocating for the United States using "all available tools to dissuade Russia from continuing its airstrikes in Syria" from an Iranian airbase near Hamadan "that are clearly not in our interest" and stating that there should be clear enforcement by the US of the airstrikes violating "a legally binding Security Council Resolution" on Iran.
In July 2017, Cotton co-sponsored the bi-partisan Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S.270), which amended existing federal law that criminalized foreign-led boycotts of U.S. allies, by specifically prohibiting support to foreign governments or organizations imposing a boycott on Israel. The proposal generated controversy as some interpreted the law as a restriction on activities by private citizens and potentially a violation of constitutional rights. Others viewed it as a clarification of the existing Export Administration Act of 1979, in response to the 2016 United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions that called on corporations to re-assess business activities that may impact Palestinian human rights.
In December 2018, after President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops in Syria, Cotton was one of six senators to sign a letter expressing concern for the move and their belief "that such action at this time is a premature and costly mistake that not only threatens the safety and security of the United States, but also emboldens ISIS, Bashar al Assad, Iran, and Russia." In January 2019, Cotton was one of eleven Republican senators to vote to advance legislation intended to block President Trump's intent to lift sanctions against three Russian companies.
In August 2019, it was reported Cotton had suggested to Trump and the Danish ambassador that the U.S. should buy Greenland. Cotton supports U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies agreement, which lets nations use special aircraft to monitor each other's military activities. In 2018, Cotton asserted that the agreement was outdated and that it favored the interests of Russia.
In 2018, Cotton was a cosponsor of the Countering the Chinese Government and Communist Party's Political Influence Operations Act, a bill introduced by Marco Rubio and Catherine Cortez Masto that would grant the U.S. Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) the authority to create an interagency task force with the purpose of examining attempts by China to influence the U.S. and key allies.
In August 2018, Cotton and 16 other lawmakers urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Chinese officials who are responsible for human rights violations in western China's Xinjiang region targeting the Uyghur ethnic minority. They wrote in a bipartisan letter: "The detention of as many as a million or more Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in "political reeducation” centers or camps requires a tough, targeted, and global response."
In February 2017, Cotton was one of the group of Senate Republicans who signed a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi requesting Pelosi invite President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen to address a joint meeting of Congress. The request came amid heightened tensions between the US and China and was seen as angering Chinese leadership if extended by Pelosi.
In May 2019, when asked about the impact of tariffs on farmers in Arkansas, Cotton admitted there would be "some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make" and that farmers were willing to make sacrifices in order for the United States to fend off against Chinese attempts to displace the US globally.
In May 2019, Cotton was a cosponsor of the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act, a bipartisan bill reintroduced by Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin that was intended to disrupt China's consolidation or expansion of its claims of jurisdiction over both the sea and air space in disputed zones in the South China Sea.
In July 2019, Cotton and Democrat Chris Van Hollen were the primary sponsors of the Defending America's 5G Future Act, a bill that would prevent Huawei from being removed from the "entity list" of the Commerce Department without an act of Congress and authorize Congress to block administration waivers for U.S. companies to do business with Huawei. The bill would also codify President Trump's executive order from the previous May that empowered his administration to block foreign tech companies deemed a national security threat from conducting business in the United States.
In April 2020, Cotton said that Chinese students in the United States should be restricted to studying the Humanities and not allowed to obtain science-related degrees. In an interview with Fox News, Cotton said, "It is a scandal to me that we have trained so many of the Chinese Communist Party's brightest minds."
On January 28, 2020, in the context of the emergence of the coronavirus, Cotton urged the Trump administration to halt commercial flights from China to the United States. On January 31, spurred in part by Cotton's warnings, the Trump administration banned most travel from China.
During a February 16, 2020 Fox News interview, Cotton said that the coronavirus may have started at the biosafety level 4 super laboratory in Wuhan, China, saying, "Now we don't have evidence that this disease originated there," Cotton said, "but because of China's duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning we need to at least ask the question." He saw the lack of available evidence as a reason to ask the Chinese. Articles published by The New York Times and The Washington Post on the same day reported that scientists have dismissed claims the Chinese government created the Coronavirus. The Times said this was because of its resemblance to the SARS virus which originated with bats. In another interview on Fox the following day, he referred to the two articles commenting that "It tells you the Chinese Communist Party, just like any communist party, has a widespread propaganda effort".
Cotton tweeted around March 2020: "we will hold accountable those who inflicted it on the world" for what it had done. To a tweet stating "China will pay for this", he responded "Correct". In late April 2020, Cotton insisted in a Fox News interview that the coronavirus outbreak was a "deliberate" and "malevolent" attack by the government of China on the world. "They did not want to see their relative power and standing in the world decline because the virus was contained [in China]," he said.
In 2013, Cotton introduced legislative language to prohibit trade with relatives of individuals subject to U.S. sanctions against Iran. According to Cotton, this would include "a spouse and any relative to the third degree," such as, "parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids." After Cotton's amendment came under harsh criticism regarding its constitutionality, he withdrew it.
In March 2015, Cotton wrote and sent a letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed by 47 of the Senate's 54 Republicans, which cast doubt on the Obama administration's authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran. It could, they asserted, be rejected "with the stroke of a pen" by the next president. The open letter was released in English as well as a poorly-translated Persian version, which "read like a middle schooler wrote it", according to Foreign Policy. Within hours, commentators[clarification needed] suggested that the letter prepared by Cotton constituted a violation of the Logan Act. Questions were also raised as to whether it reflected a flawed interpretation of the Treaty Clause of the United States Constitution.
President Barack Obama mocked the letter, referring to it as an "unusual coalition" with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as an interference with the then-ongoing negotiations of a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. In addition, Obama said, "I'm embarrassed for them. For them to address a letter to the Ayatollah – the Supreme Leader of Iran, who they claim is our mortal enemy – and their basic argument to them is: don't deal with our President, 'cause you can't trust him to follow through on an agreement ... That's close to unprecedented."
Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, responded to the letter by saying "[the senators'] letter in fact undermines the credibility of thousands of such mere executive agreements that have been or will be entered into by the US with various other governments". Zarif pointed out that the nuclear deal is not supposed to be an Iran–US deal, but an international one, saying that "change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran's peaceful nuclear program." He continued, "I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law."
Cotton defended the letter amid criticism that it undermined the president's efforts, "It's so important we communicated this message straight to Iran... No regrets at all... they already control Tehran, increasingly they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad and now Sana'a as well." He continued to defend his action in an interview with MSNBC by saying, "There are nothing but hardliners in Iran. They've been killing Americans for 35 years. They kill hundreds of troops in Iraq. Now they control five capitals in the Middle East. There are nothing but hardliners in Tehran and if they do all those things without a nuclear weapon, imagine what they'll do with a nuclear weapon."
Cotton received extensive financial support from pro-Israel groups due to his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and for his hawkish stance toward Iran. Several pro-Israel Republican billionaires who contributed millions of dollars to William Kristol's Emergency Committee for Israel spent $960,000 to support Cotton.
In July 2018, Cotton introduced the Iran Hostage Taking Accountability Act, a bill that would call for the president to compose a list of Iranians that were "knowingly responsible for or complicit in...the politically-motivated harassment, abuse, extortion, arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, or imprisonment" of Americans and have those on the list face sanctions along with enabling the president to impose sanctions on their family members and bar them from entering the United States. Cotton stated that Iran had not changed much since 1981 and called for Americans to avoid Iran and its borders as there were "many friendly countries in the region that you can visit where you'd be safer."
In May 2019, Cotton said that in the event of a war with Iran, the United States could easily win in "two strikes. The first strike and the last strike." He said there would be a "furious response" by the United States if there was any provocation from Iran.
On 13 March 2018, in an interview on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Cotton said that he expects Russian officials to "lie and deny" about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy on British soil. After the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May gave Russia 24 hours to respond to the poison, Cotton said "I suspect the response will be the typical Russian response. They’ll lie and deny." Cotton went on to suggest retaliatory measures that the UK and the U.S. could implement in response to Russia's alleged actions, including renewed sanctions on oil.
Cotton married attorney Anna Peckham in 2014. The couple have two children.
|Green||J. Joshua Drake||4,807||1.86%|
|Democratic||Mark Pryor (incumbent)||334,174||39.43%||-40.10%|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Republican||Tom Cotton (incumbent)||793,871||66.53%||+10.03%|
|Libertarian||Ricky Dale Harrington Jr.||399,390||33.47%||+31.44%|
|Republican||Beth Anne Rankin||13,460||37.07%|
Cotton's military awards and decorations include:
|Combat Infantryman Badge|
|Air Assault Badge|
|101st Airborne Division Combat Service ID Badge|
|506th Infantry Regimental Distinctive Insignia|
- "Tom Cotton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- Lyons, Gene (October 9, 2014). "Tom Cotton wouldn't be anywhere without government dollars". Arkansas Times.
- "New Arkansas Rep. Cotton Draws Spotlight; 113th Congress Sworn In". Times Record News. January 4, 2013.
- Ball, Molly (September 17, 2014). "The Making of a Conservative Superstar". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Bolduc, Brian (October 7, 2011). "G.I. Tom". National Review.
- Levy, Gabrielle (April 16, 2015). "Tom Cotton Takes On the World". U.S. News & World Report.
- "COTTON, Tom". United States Congress.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (November 13, 2017). "Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Rogin, Ali (July 18, 2016). "Tom Cotton: Everything You Need to Know". ABC News.
- Stern, Seth. "For Freshman Senator Tom Cotton, politics and patriotism are nothing new". Harvard Law Today. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- "NATIONAL DEFENSE PAC today announces with extreme pride its endorsement of Congressman Thomas Cotton" (PDF) (Press release). National Defense PAC. October 6, 2014.
- Cotton, Tom (May 31, 2017). "Congress must support Arlington expansion". Philadelphia Media Network.
- Milbank, Dana (May 12, 2014). "Dana Milbank: For Tom Cotton, a military record is no magic bullet". The Washington Post.
- "Tom Cotton Army Service Record". MuckRock.
- Rubin, Jennifer (December 5, 2012). "Tom Cotton: No ordinary freshman congressman". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Johnson, Scott (October 23, 2012). "A Fateful Letter to the Editor of the Times". Power Line.
- Leibovich, Mark (April 5, 2015). "Tom Cotton Is Not Mailing It In". The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times.
- Baumann, Nick (November 10, 2011). "The GOP Candidate Who Wants Journos Jailed". Mother Jones. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- Mikkelson, David (July 7, 2006). "Tom Cotton Letter". Snopes. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- LoGiurato, Brett (August 12, 2013). "10 Things Everyone Should Know About Tom Cotton, The Arkansas Politician Who Should Scare The Hell Out Of Democrats". Business Insider.
- Nordlinger, Jay (October 23, 2012). "Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Part II". National Review.
- Joseph, Cameron (July 25, 2011). "Rep. Mike Ross to retire". The Hill.
- Brantley, Max (July 25, 2011). "U.S. Rep. Mike Ross won't seek 2012 re-election". Arkansas Times.
- Brantley, Max (September 1, 2011). "Tom Cotton learns value of Internet". Arkansas Times.
- Minton, Michelle (September 26, 2016). "Tom Cotton's Last Minute Anti-Gambling Bill". Competitive Enterprise Institute.
- "Arkansas's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012". Ballotpedia.
- "CLUB FOR GROWTH PAC ENDORSES TOM COTTON FOR CONGRESS" (Press release). Club for Growth. February 14, 2012.
- Miller, Joshua (May 3, 2012). "Arkansas: Tom Cotton Gets John McCain Endorsement". Roll Call.
- "Tea Party Express Endorses Tom Cotton in Arkansas" (Press release). Tea Party Express.
- Joseph, Cameron (July 31, 2013). "Cotton's decision to run for Senate gives GOP 'rock star' candidate in Arkansas". The Hill.
- Merica, Dan (December 3, 2012). "Freshman's House office search foreshadows the legislator he might be". CNN.
- Kranz, Michal (November 30, 2017). "Meet Tom Cotton, the Arkansas senator with Trump's ear who graduated from Harvard in 3 years and might become the next head of the CIA". Business Insider.
- "HR 273 – Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees – Voting Record". Project Vote Smart.
- Huey-Burns, Caitlin (July 16, 2013). "Tom Cotton a Key House Voice on Immigration Reform". RealClearPolitics.
- "House Floor Activities Legislative Day of January 29, 2014". House of Representatives.
- Nixon, Ron (February 4, 2014). "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers". The New York Times.(subscription required)
- Liberto, Jennifer (February 4, 2014). "Senate passes farm bill". CNNMoney.
- Montanaro, Domenico (April 8, 2015). "Tom Cotton: Military Action Against Iran Would Take Only 'Several Days'". NPR.
- Kendall Breitman (April 8, 2015). "Sen. Tom Cotton says U.S. could pursue targeted attack on Iran". POLITICO.
- Fabian, Jordan; Wong, Kristina (July 26, 2015). "White House launches Iran side deals counterattack". The Hill.
- Schulberg, Jessica (December 19, 2016). "John Kerry's Confident The IAEA Can Handle Iran, But Congress Isn't Buying It". The Huffington Post.
- Condon, Stephanie (August 6, 2013). "Republican Rep. Tom Cotton announces bid to challenge Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark". CBS News.
- Rothenberg, Stuart (June 9, 2014). "Mark Pryor: Still This Cycle's Most Vulnerable Senator". Roll Call.
- Gentilviso, Chris (August 7, 2013). "Tom Cotton 2014 Senate Run Gets Early Club For Growth Endorsement". The Huffington Post.
- Judis, John (October 16, 2013). "The Shrinking Club for Growth". The New Republic.
- Joseph, Cameron (August 7, 2013). "Club for Growth endorses Tom Cotton, launches ads in Arkansas Senate race". The Hill.
- Strauss, Daniel (September 17, 2013). "Rubio Endorses Rep. Tom Cotton for Senate". Talking Points Memo.
- Urban, Peter (July 1, 2014). "Small-business group endorses Cotton". Arkansas News.
- Ramsey, David (August 21, 2014). "Mitt Romney endorses Tom Cotton". Arkansas Times.
- Brantley, Max (August 20, 2014). "Mitt Romney to campaign for Asa Hutchinson and Tom Cotton; Democrats comment". Arkansas Times.
- Glueck, Katie. "Cotton defeats Pryor in Arkansas". POLITICO.
- ENR Home Page For Google Analytics https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/AR/53237/149792/Web01/en/summary.html. Retrieved June 28, 2020. Missing or empty
- Kranz, Michal. "Meet Tom Cotton, the Arkansas senator with Trump's ear who graduated from Harvard in 3 years and might become the next head of the CIA". Business Insider.
- MacFarlane, Scott. "Virginia Man Arrested for Sending Faxes Threatening Trump: Docs". NBC 4 Washington. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Connolly, Griffin. "Arkansas man arrested for death threats against Sen. Tom Cotton, Rep. Rick Crawford". Roll Call. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "Man jailed in Faulkner Co. accused of threatening Rep. Rick Crawford and Sen. Tom Cotton". Fox 16. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "Arkansas man gets probation after mailing powder to senator". ABC 7. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Bruni, Frank (June 7, 2016). "An Obama Nominee's Crushed Hopes". The New York Times.
- "Tom Cotton is campaigning hard, just not for reelection". AP NEWS. October 26, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
- Johnson, Eliana; Watkins, Ali. "Cotton cements his rise under Trump". POLITICO. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
- Manduley, Christina (November 9, 2016). "Sen. Tom Cotton: Waterboarding isn't torture". CNN. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
- Klar, Rebecca (September 9, 2020). "Tom Cotton after Trump names him potential Supreme Court nominee: 'It's time for Roe v. Wade to go'". TheHill. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- "Amy Coney Barrett: Trump nominates conservative favourite for Supreme Court". BBC News. September 27, 2020. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Desjardins, Lisa (September 22, 2020). "What every Republican senator has said about filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- FOX13Memphis.com News Staff (January 3, 2021). "Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says he won't vote to challenge the joint session of Congress". Fox 13 Memphis. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
- Roller, Emma (August 27, 2013). "Tom Cotton: Race Relations Would Improve "If We Stopped Emphasizing Race in Our Public Life"". Slate. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Gass, Nick (May 19, 2016). "Sen. Tom Cotton: U.S. has 'under-incarceration problem'". Politico. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- "Were there no hearings on bipartisan criminal justice bill?". @politifact. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
- EVERETT, BURGESS; SCHOR, ELANA. "Cotton wields sex offender report to tank prisons bill". Politico. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
- Levin, Marianne. "Senate approves Trump-backed criminal justice overhaul". Politico. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Alberta, Tim (June 8, 2020). "Is This the Last Stand of the 'Law and Order' Republicans?". Politico. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- Carney, Jordain (June 1, 2020). "Cotton: Trump should use Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military to cities". TheHill. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Kane, Paul (June 1, 2020). "Cotton urges deployment of military in response to violence; other Republicans empathize with peaceful protesters, Floyd family". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Kalmbacher, Colin (June 1, 2020). "Republican Senator Called for 'No Quarter' Military Response to 'Looters.' Lawyers Note That's a War Crime". lawandcrime.com.
- Cotton, Tom (June 3, 2020). "Send in the Troops". The New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- Izadi, Elahe (June 4, 2020). "New York Times staffers denounce newspaper for Tom Cotton editorial urging military incursion into U.S. cities". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- Ellefson, Lindsey (June 4, 2020). "New York Times Says 'Rushed Editorial Process' Led to Tom Cotton Op-Ed". TheWrap. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Luscombe, Richard (June 7, 2020). "New York Times senior editor resigns amid backlash over controversial oped". The Guardian. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- Lockwood, Frank E. (July 26, 2020). "Bill by Sen. Tom Cotton targets curriculum on slavery". Arkansas Online. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
- Srikanth, Anagha (July 23, 2020). "Sen. Tom Cotton introduces bill withholding federal funding for schools teaching the 1619 Project". TheHill. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Foran, Clare (July 24, 2020). "GOP Sen. Tom Cotton pitches bill to prohibit use of federal funds to teach 1619 Project". CNN. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Lockwood, Frank E. (July 26, 2020). "Bill by Sen. Tom Cotton targets curriculum on slavery". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
- Armus, Tea. "Sen. Tom Cotton wants to take 'The 1619 Project' out of classrooms. His efforts have kept it in the spotlight". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Bowden, John (July 26, 2020). "Cotton called out for remarks on slavery in criticism of 1619 Project". The Hill. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
- Cole, Devan (July 28, 2020). "Tom Cotton describes slavery as a 'necessary evil' in bid to keep schools from teaching 1619 Project". CNN. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- "NRA Endorses Tom Cotton for U.S. Senate in Arkansas" (Press release). National Rifle Association. September 9, 2014.
- Shelbourne, Mallory (October 3, 2017). "Cotton: Las Vegas shooter's weapon sounded like 'belt-fed machine gun'". The Hill.
- "Sens. Cruz, Cornyn file Concealed-Carry Reciprocity Bill". kcbd.com. January 10, 2019.
- "Tom Cotton on Immigration". On the Issues.
- Costa, Robert (July 15, 2013). "Picking Tom Cotton: On immigration, a freshman speaks for the right flank of the House GOP". The National Review.
- Lizza, Ryan (July 20, 2016). "Occupied Territory: The Republican élite struggles over whether to resist Trump or capitulate". The New Yorker.
- Blake, Aaron (January 29, 2017). "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". The Denver Post.
- "A new effort to narrow the route to permanent residency in America". The Economist. February 16, 2017.
- Alvarez, Priscilla (August 21, 2017). "Can a Decades-Old Immigration Proposal Pass Under Trump?". The Atlantic.
- Vitali, Ali (January 12, 2018). "Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as 'shithole' countries". NBC News. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Saletan, William (January 24, 2018). "Cotton Tales". Slate. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Ashley Killough, January 12, 2017, CNN, 2 Republican senators in Trump meeting say they don't recall 'shithole' comment
"We do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system,..."
- Ruth Brown, January 12, 2017, New York Post, "GOP lawmakers 'do not recall' Trump's 'shithole' slur", Retrieved January 14, 2017, "...Republican Sens. David Perdue and Tom Cotton say they "don't recall" President Trump "specifically" smearing Haiti and African nations as "shitholes" ..."
- Dawsey, Josh; Costa, Robert; Parker, Ashley (January 15, 2018). "Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration". The Washington Post.
- Samuels, Brett (January 14, 2018). "Cotton hits Durbin for claims of Trump's 's---hole countries' comment". The Hill. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
- Milbank, Dana (May 10, 2018). "Tom Cotton is filled with rage. Thank God he wasn't tapped as CIA director". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- O'Dowd, Niall (December 21, 2018). "E3 bill dies thanks to Senator Tom Cotton and incredibly, an Irish journalist Neil Munro". IrishCentral.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "What is the E3 visa and what does it mean to the Irish?". IrishCentral.com. December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- "Irish E3 visas face further blow as another senator places hold on bill". IrishCentral.com. December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Besson, Eric. "5 protesters, including Arkansas immigrant, arrested outside Sen. Tom Cotton's D.C. office". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "4th District hopefuls split on health care law". Associated Press. September 26, 2012.
- Ramsey, David (April 14, 2014). "How Tom Cotton talks when he talks about Obamacare". Arkansas Times.
- 🖉Times, Valerie Richardson The Washington (April 3, 2019). "Tom Cotton calls for IRS to investigate Southern Poverty Law Center's tax-exempt status". AP NEWS.
- "Tom Cotton on Civil Rights". On the Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- Marcos, Cristina. "Woman recounts abuse in Democratic ad criticizing Tom Cotton". The Hill. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "House Vote 251 – Approves New Abortion Restrictions". The New York Times.
- Frazin, Rachel (May 15, 2019). "GOP senator: Supreme Court abortion cases were 'wrongly decided as a constitutional matter'". TheHill. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- Fearnow, Benjamin (May 19, 2020). "Republican Sen. Tom Cotton Says Life Begins at Conception, Fetus Has Constitutional Rights Protecting From Abortion". Newsweek. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- "H.R.217 - Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act". United States Congress. 2013.
- "Tom Cotton on Abortion". On the Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- Robertson, Lori. "Student Loan Stretching". FactCheck.org. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Axelrod, Tal (May 14, 2019). "Cotton: US could win war with Iran in 'two strikes'". TheHill. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- Willick, Jason (December 9–10, 2017). "A Foreign Policy for 'Jacksonian America'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 5, 2018. (subscription required)
- Mallin, Alexander (February 5, 2015). "Senator Says Gitmo Detainees 'Can Rot in Hell'". ABC News. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Friedersdorf, Conor (June 17, 2015). "These 21 Republicans Voted Against a Torture Ban". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Ackerman, Spencer (November 30, 2017). "Interrogators Blast Trump's 'Clueless' CIA Pick Tom Cotton". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- Kheel, Rebecca (September 19, 2016). "GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase". The Hill.
- "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress - 1st Session". www.senate.gov. July 27, 2017.
- Levitz, Eric (July 19, 2017). "43 Senators Want to Make It a Federal Crime to Boycott Israeli Settlements". Intelligencer.
- "Cosponsors - S.720 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Israel Anti-Boycott Act". www.congress.gov. March 23, 2017.
- Michaelson, Jay (July 21, 2017). "Pay No Mind to the Fake Ruckus About a Phony Israel Anti-Boycott Law". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Axelrod, Tal (December 19, 2018). "Senators call on Trump administration to reconsider Syria withdrawal". The Hill.
- Carney, Jordain (January 15, 2019). "Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions". The Hill.
- Cohen, Zachary; Warren, Michael (August 23, 2020). "Sen. Tom Cotton says he floated the idea of buying Greenland to Trump". CNN. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Field, Hunter; Lockwood, Frank E. (August 22, 2019). "U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton backs buying Greenland, says he floated idea to Trump, Danish ambassador". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
- Sonmez, Felicia (August 22, 2019). "Sen. Tom Cotton says he mentioned buying Greenland to Trump, Danish ambassador". The Washington Post.
The revelation came a day after President Trump called off a trip to Denmark because, he said, the country's leader was not interested in selling Greenland to the United States.
- "Trump Takes Aim at the 'Open Skies' Cold War Treaty With Russia". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
- Derby, Kevin. "Marco Rubio, Catherine Cortez Masto Take Aim at China in New Legislation". Sunshine State News.
- "Chairs Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging Administration to Sanction Chinese Officials Complicit in Xinjiang Abuses". www.cecc.gov. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).
- "China rejects US lawmakers' sanctions call over Muslim camps". Associated Press. August 30, 2018.
- "Republican U.S. senators want Taiwan president to address Congress". Reuters. February 7, 2019.
- Tillett, Emily (May 13, 2019). "Tom Cotton says sacrifice of Americans paying tariffs is "minimal" compared to those serving overseas". CBS News.
- Ghosh, Nirmal (May 24, 2019). "US Bill reintroduced to deter China in South China, East China seas". The Straits Times.
- Miller, Maggie (July 16, 2019). "Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei". The Hill.
- Re, Gregg. "Tom Cotton suggests Chinese students shouldn't be allowed to study sciences in the US". Fox News. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- Bowden, John. "Cotton suggests US shouldn't give visas to Chinese students to study science". The Hill.
- John McCormack. "The Senator who saw the Coronavirus Coming". National Review.
- Tom Cotton. "letter" (PDF).
- Natasha Bertrand (March 31, 2020). "From distraction to disaster: How coronavirus crept up on Washington". Politico. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- Matthew Daly. "McConnell: Impeachment 'Diverted Attention' From Coronavirus". U.S. News. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- Brewster, Jack (May 10, 2020). "A Timeline of the COVID-19 Wuhan Lab Origin Theory". Forbes. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Stevenson, Alexandra (February 18, 2020). "Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
- Firozi, Paulina (February 17, 2020). "Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
Yet Cotton acknowledged there is no evidence that the disease originated at the lab. Instead, he suggested it's necessary to ask Chinese authorities about the possibility
- Halon, Yael (February 18, 2020). "Sen. Tom Cotton stands by startling theory on coronavirus origins: 'We need to be open to all possibilities'". Fox News Media.
- Choi, David (March 12, 2020). "Republican senator: It's time to hold China 'accountable' for the coronavirus". Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- Everett, Burgess (April 29, 2020). "The GOP's No. 1 coronavirus China hawk". Politico. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Sternlicht, Alexandra (April 26, 2020). "Cotton Ramps Up Anti-China Rhetoric, Says Chinese Students Should Be Banned From U.S." Forbes. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Waldman, Paul (March 11, 2015). "For Tom Cotton, letter to Iran is anything but a 'fiasco'". The Washington Post.
- Carter, Zach (March 17, 2015). "Here's Why Republicans Love Tom Cotton's Letter To Iran". The Huffington Post.
- Baker, Peter (March 9, 2015). "Angry White House and G.O.P. Senators Clash Over Letter to Iran". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- "Sen. Tom Cotton's Farsi Version Of His Explosive Letter to Iranian Leaders Reads Like a Middle Schooler Wrote It". Foreign Policy. March 30, 2015.
- Zeitz, Josh (March 12, 2015). "Iran, Tom Cotton and the Bizarre History of the Logan Act". Politico.
- Waldman, Paul (March 9, 2015). "Republicans are beginning to act as though Barack Obama isn't even the president". The Washington Post.
- Bump, Philip (March 9, 2015). "What an 18th century non-war with France has to do with the Senate's letter to Iran". The Washington Post.
- Jaffe, Alexandra (March 11, 2015). "Obama, Iranian official slam GOP letter on deal". CNN.
- "Obama mocks Republican letter to Iran over nuclear talks". BBC News. March 9, 2015.
- Lavender, Paige (March 13, 2015). "Obama: 'I'm Embarrassed' For Republicans Who Sent Letter To Iran". The Huffington Post.
- Zarif, Javad (March 9, 2015). "Dr. Zarif's Response to the Letter of US Senators". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Iran).
- "Freshman GOP Senator Cotton says no regrets about letter warning Iran about Nuclear Deterrent". Fox News. March 15, 2015.
- "Face the Nation: March 15 Kerry, Cotton, Manchin". CBS News. March 15, 2015.
- Guion, Payton (March 16, 2015). "Tom Cotton, US Senator, apparently does not know the capital of Iran". The Independent.
- "Tom Cotton: I want complete nuclear disarmament". MSNBC. March 15, 2015.
- Lipton, Eric (April 4, 2015). "GOP's Israel support deepens as political contributions shift". The New York Times.(subscription required)
- Lockwood, Frank E. (July 20, 2018). "U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's bill targets Iran over captives". Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
- Cotton: Russia will 'lie and deny' about British spy poisoning. 13 March 2018. The Hill. Retrieved 24 march 2020.
- Brantley, Max (March 17, 2014). "Tom Cotton still mum on marriage details". Arkansas Times.
- Dovere, Edward-Isaac. "Tom Cotton has no problem with Donald Trump". POLITICO.
- Takala, Rudy (June 27, 2016). "Tom Cotton: 'Deterrence, once lost, is very hard to regain'". The Washington Examiner.
- "November 4, 2014 General election and nonpartisan runoff election Official results". Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- "2020 General Election and Nonpartisan Judicial Runoff". Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Tom Cotton at Ballotpedia
- Tom Cotton at Curlie
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district
|Party political offices|
Title last held byTim Hutchinson
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Arkansas
| U.S. senator (Class 2) from Arkansas
Served alongside: John Boozman
| Baby of the Senate
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Senators by seniority
|113th||Senate: M. Pryor • J. Boozman||House: R. Crawford • T. Griffin • S. Womack • T. Cotton|
|114th||Senate: J. Boozman • T. Cotton||House: R. Crawford • S. Womack • F. Hill • B. Westerman|
|115th||Senate: J. Boozman • T. Cotton||House: R. Crawford • S. Womack • F. Hill • B. Westerman|
|116th||Senate: J. Boozman • T. Cotton||House: R. Crawford • S. Womack • F. Hill • B. Westerman|
|117th||Senate: J. Boozman • T. Cotton||House: R. Crawford • S. Womack • F. Hill • B. Westerman|