|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.
Anna Peckham (m. 2014)
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
Claremont Graduate University
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||2005–2009 (active)|
|Battles/wars||War on Terrorism|
Cotton was born and raised in Dardanelle, Arkansas. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, Cotton later returned to Harvard Law School and graduated in 2002. After law school, he worked for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 2005, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. Cotton's military background includes service in Afghanistan and deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom; he is a Bronze Star recipient.
- 1 Early life, education, and military career, 1977–2013
- 2 House and Senate elections and career, 2013–present
- 3 Political positions
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Electoral history
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life, education, and military career, 1977–2013
Formative years and education
Tom Cotton was born on May 13, 1977 in Dardanelle, Arkansas. Cotton's father, Thomas Leonard "Len" Cotton, was a district supervisor in the Arkansas Health Department, 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.
While in high school, Cotton developed an intense desire to attend Harvard University, and worked intently on his studies toward that goal. He was accepted to Harvard after graduating from high school in 1995, and majored in government. At Harvard, Cotton 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, having written his senior thesis on The Federalist Papers.
After graduating from Harvard, Cotton was accepted into a master's degree 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 received his J.D. in 2002.
After finishing law school in 2002, he served for a year as a clerk for Judge Jerry Edwin Smith at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He then entered the practice of law, working at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for a few months, and at the law firm of Charles J. Cooper & Kirk from 2003 to 2004.
On January 11, 2005, Cotton enlisted in the U.S. Army. Cotton declined offers to serve in the Army J.A.G. Corps and instead volunteered for the infantry. Cotton had resolved to serve as an Army infantryman in his third year of law school while watching live news coverage of the September 11 attacks, and had begun a regimen of physical exercise and studying military history. In March 2005, he entered Officer Candidate School, and in June 2005 was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.
In May 2006, Cotton was deployed to Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 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. In December 2006, Cotton was promoted to First Lieutenant. He was assigned as a platoon leader for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at Arlington National Cemetery in Northern 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, where he planned daily counter-insurgency and reconstruction operations. His 11-month deployment ended on July 20, 2009 and he returned from Afghanistan. He then returned to farming his family ranch.
In July 2010, Cotton transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve. His military record shows his final discharge from the Army Reserve was in May 2013; he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and earned a Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal.
Accusations of New York Times journalists
In June 2006, while stationed in Iraq, Cotton gained international public attention after he wrote an open letter to the editor of The New York Times, accusing three journalists of violating "espionage laws" by publishing an article detailing a Bush administration secret program monitoring terrorists' finances. The New York Times did not publish the 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 responsible for the newspaper article to be imprisoned for espionage. He asserted that the newspaper had "gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here." The article was widely circulated online and reprinted in full in several newspapers.
The letter reached General Peter Schoomaker, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, who forwarded it via e-mail to all his generals, stating: "Attached for your information are words of wisdom from one of our great lieutenants in Iraq ..." Cotton said in an interview that after meeting with his immediate commander, he was "nervous and worried all night long" about losing his position and even worse, possibly being court-martialed. When he finally met the battalion commander, he was simply told "Well, here's a piece of advice: You're new here. No one's trying to infringe on your right to send a letter or whatnot. But next time, give your chain of command a heads-up."
House and Senate elections and 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, an influential Republican political action committee. An attempt was made to draft Cotton for the United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2010 to run against incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln. Cotton declined, believing he would be rushing a political candidacy. Following his active duty service, Cotton served in the Army Reserve and did sporadic consulting work for McKinsey & Company, before deciding to run for the Arkansas 4th following retirement of Democratic incumbent Mike Ross.
In September 2011, Cotton faced criticism 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; Rankin received 37.1%.
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 by United States Speaker of the House John Boehner.
As a freshman, Cotton was considered a rising star in the Republican Party. Politico named him "most likely to succeed." He quickly 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 also seemed to underestimate what 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 alleged 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. Cotton defeated Pryor in the general election, 56.5% to 39.5%. The race was called for Cotton just half an hour after the polls closed. Cotton was sworn into office on January 6, 2015.
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 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' nomination.
Butts told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that she had gone to see Cotton about his objections to her nomination, and claimed Cotton had told her that because he knew that the president and Butts were friends, it was a way to "inflict special pain on the president", Bruni claimed. Cotton's spokeswoman did not dispute Butts' characterization. Butts died on May 26, 2016, still awaiting a Senate vote.
Letter to Iran's leaders
On or about March 9, 2015, Cotton wrote and sent a letter to the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed by 47 of the Senate's 54 Republicans, attempting to cast doubt on the Obama administration's authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran. The open letter was released in English as well as a poorly-translated Farsi 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 also were 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, during a Vice News interview, 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."
On March 15, 2015, Cotton defended the letter amid criticism that it undermined the president's efforts. "It's so important we communicated this message straight to Iran," he told CBS News' Face the Nation "No regrets at all," and "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."
Support of President Trump
Cotton, a supporter of President Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, was at a meeting in which Cotton disputes an alleged attribution that 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". 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, “And I was sitting no farther away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was, and I know what Dick Durbin has said about the president's repeated statements is incorrect”. 
- 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
Support from pro-Israel groups
Cotton has received heavy 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 early 2019 at the behast of pro-israeli interest groups Cotton blocked the E-3 Visa deal for Irish workers in response to Ireland passing the occupied territories bill. 
Potential role in the Trump Administration
Cotton was mentioned as a possible candidate for Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration. However, retired General James Mattis was chosen instead. 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 Secretary of Homeland Security.
In November 2017, the New York Times reported that Cotton was a potential choice to succeed CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who could be elevated to US Secretary of State after President Trump 'soured' with the then incumbent, Rex Tillerson.
Criminal justice reform
In 2016, Cotton said that the United States had an "under-incarceration problem", as opposed to a problem with over-incarceration. 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 that he strongly opposed, Cotton falsely claimed that there had been no hearings on the bill. PolitiFact noted that Cotton "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 has expressed his opinion that "convicts of certain sex-related crimes could accrue credits making them eligible for supervised release or “pre-release” to a halfway house". This follows the release of an Justice Department analysis that was conducted at Cotton's request. 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 did not support it.
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 September 2012, Cotton said regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that "the first step is to repeal that law, which is offensive to a free society and a free people". In April 2014, Cotton was one of 38 Republican lawmakers that signed an amicus curiae in support of Senator Ron Johnson's legal challenge against the United States Office of Personnel Management's ACA ruling.
Cotton has stated "We cannot afford to grant illegal aliens amnesty or a so-called earned path to citizenship. Amnesty would cost billions of dollars that our government cannot afford. Also, amnesty would attract millions of new illegal aliens, just as the 1986 amnesty did, by advertising to the world that America lacks the political will to enforce its borders. Finally, amnesty is unjust and immoral because it favors those who broke our laws over those standing in line at embassies hoping to immigrate legally."
In July 2013, after the Senate's bi-partisan 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. Cotton noted that a tougher stance on immigration had done little to diminish Mitt Romney's electoral support among Hispanics in 2012 compared to John McCain's in 2008. The House decided to not consider the bill.
In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal in September 2016, Cotton and Mike Pompeo compared the policy of Immigration to Norway favorably to the policy of Immigration to Sweden. He maintained that the Norwegian government had to a greater extent than that of Sweden listened to the concerns of its citizens in contrast to the dominant Swedish major parties which did not listen to its constituents. He proceeded to compare the differing results in Scandinavia to that of the United States, where immigration-friendly elites have been held in check by immigration-sceptical constituents.
Cotton supported President Trump's 2017 Executive Order 13769 that temporarily curtailed immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. He stated that "It's simply wrong to call the president's executive order concerning immigration and refugees 'a religious test' of any kind. I doubt many Arkansans or Americans more broadly object to taking a harder look at foreigners coming into our country from war-torn nations with known terror networks; I think they're wondering why we don't do that already."
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.
After the violent incidents surrounding the 2017 Unite the Right rally, Cotton issued a statement condemning white supremacism. Cotton stated that "White supremacists who claim to 'take America back' only betray their own ignorance of what makes America so special: our country's founding recognition of the natural rights of all mankind and commitment to the defense of the rights of all Americans. These contemptible little men do not speak for what is just, noble, and best about America".
In response to the 2017 New York City truck attack, Cotton slammed the Diversity Immigrant Visa program as a threat to national security following reports the attack's perpetrator was a recipient of the program. Cotton stated that "Yesterday's attack was an outrage, especially because it was entirely preventable. The diversity visa lottery program has long been deeply flawed, but now we see very clearly how it's a threat to our national security."
In September 2017, Cotton stated that he would support legalization of existing recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by giving them green cards if Congress passed legislation that would protect American workers from the effects of that legalization, including requiring E-Verify.
On January 14th, 2018, on ABC's Face the Nation, Cotton stated that President Trump had not disparaged Haiti, Haitians, Africa, Africans, and Salvadorans in a meeting in the Oval Office regarding immigration policy and the status of those falling under the Obama Administration's DACA protections (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Speaking to media again on January 16th, 2018, Cotton repeated this assertion. In both instances, his statements were predicated on his assertion that his colleagues, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), lied in their statements that the President had in fact disparaged those nations and peoples in the January 11 meeting, and that the President's language had been salacious, including derogatory curse words that persons on all sides of the incident had described as "vulgar".
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 28th, 2018 and had also received the backing of the Trump Administration, particularly then Chief of Staff John Kelly and Director of the Office of Management and Budget (and then incoming Chief of Staff) Mick Mulvaney. Despite the backing of a broad collation within congress, H.R.7164 did not reach the Senate floor for consideration under unanimous consent as a consequence of Sen. Cotton's hold. Press reports indicate that Sen. Cotton refused to engage with Irish leaders during the process by not taking phone calls from Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney and sending his Chief of Staff in his place to a scheduled meeting at the Embassy of Ireland, Washington, D.C. Sen. Cotton has not to date offered an explanation of his hold on the legislation.
In February 2019, Cotton was one of sixteen senators to vote against legislation preventing a partial government shutdown and containing 1.375 billion for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border that included 55 miles of fencing.
After not taking a position on minimum wage during his campaign, in September 2014, Cotton said he would vote, as a citizen, in favor of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Initiative, a November 2014 referendum to raise Arkansas's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017. Cotton was criticized for failing to take a public position on the issue until public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor.
In June 2013, Cotton voted in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill to ban abortions occurring 20 or more weeks after fertilization. Cotton has stated that "I believe Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided." 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 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.
In September 2013, Cotton was one of 103 co-sponsors of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act. In October 2015, Cotton was one of 24 co-sponsors of the Thin Blue Line Act, a federal bill that would impose the death penalty in the case of the killing of police officers.
In February 2019, Cotton was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging them "to work with all federal, state and local regulators, as well as the hundreds of independent power producers and electricity distributors nation-wide to ensure our systems are protected" and affirming that they were "ready and willing to provide any assistance you need to secure our critical electricity infrastructure."
In August 2013, Cotton voted against the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which lowered interest rates on student loans. Cotton had received federally-subsidized student loans when he was a student but said he didn't want the government in the student loan business, noting that he and his family worked for years to afford his college education.
Cotton has criticized the foreign policies described as the Clinton Doctrine, Bush Doctrine, and Obama Doctrine for failing to earn widespread public support of the common American, described by Cotton as a "Jacksonian America". Cotton's own foreign policy ideas were described by The Wall Street Journal as "hawkish and realistic, though tinged with idealism", and similar to the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe doctrine, claiming to seek to avoid intervention while steadfastly committing, "There is always a military option. That is the case everywhere in the world". Generally, Cotton believes in peace through strength by forming alliances with Old World countries (in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe), partially as defense and partially to fulfill "moral aspirations for America's role in the world".
Cotton is decidedly hawkish toward every country among America's primary "headline" relations: China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Cotton is perhaps most hawkish on Iran–United States relations, describing Iran as a greater long-term challenge than North Korea. Cotton insists China is "a rival in every regard … not a partner", and believes the superpower rivalry between the United States and Russia is inherent given the conflicting forms of government and relative power. He has shown less concern with the rightward shift of Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Erdoğan's Turkey. Cotton's approach almost exclusively relies on bilateral relations over multilateralism, and focuses more on security than idealism or values. On December 18, 2018 Cotton and Cruz put forth a senate resolution urging the United States to affirm Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
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 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 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.
Sanctions on Iran
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.
|Arkansas's 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2012|
|Republican||Beth Anne Rankin||13,460||37.07%|
|Arkansas's 4th Congressional District Election, 2012|
|U.S. Senate Election in Arkansas, 2014|
|Write-in votes||Write-in votes||505||0.06%|
- List of people from Arkansas
- List of United States Representatives from Arkansas
- List of United States Senators from Arkansas
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- 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.
- "November 4, 2014 General election and nonpartisan runoff election Official results". Secretary of State of Arkansas.
- Bruni, Frank (June 7, 2016). "An Obama Nominee's Crushed Hopes". The New York Times.
- Baker, Peter (March 9, 2015). "Angry White House and G.O.P. Senators Clash Over Letter to Iran". The New York Times.
- "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.
- 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.
- Ali Vitali, Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as 'shithole' countries, NBCnews.com, January 12, 2017.
- 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.
- Lipton, Eric (April 4, 2015). "GOP's Israel support deepens as political contributions shift". The New York Times.(subscription required)
- https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019/0103/1020061-us-e-3-visa/. Missing or empty
- Restuccia, Andrew (November 18, 2016). "Donald Trump's Cabinet-in-waiting: What we know so far". Politico. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- Byrnes, Jesse (December 1, 2016). "Trump announces Mattis as Defense pick". Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Baker, Peter (November 30, 2017). "White House Plans Tillerson Ouster, to Be Replaced by Mike Pompeo, Within Weeks". New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- )O'Brien, Connor (December 20, 2018). Politico https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/20/trump-next-defense-secretary-mattis-replacement-1049135. Retrieved December 20, 2018. Missing or empty
- "Sen. Tom Cotton: U.S. has 'under-incarceration problem'". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Were there no hearings on bipartisan criminal justice bill?". @politifact. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
- EVERETT, BURGESS; SCHOR, ELANA. "Cotton wields sex offender report to tank prisons bill". Politico. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Levin, Marianne. "Senate approves Trump-backed criminal justice overhaul". Politico. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- "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.
- "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.
- O'Keefe, Ed (April 24, 2014). "38 GOP lawmakers join Ron Johnson's Obamacare lawsuit". The Washington Post.(subscription required)
- Bash, Dana; Fox, Lauren; Barrett, Ted (May 9, 2017). "GOP defends having no women in health care group". CNN.
- "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.
- Max Brantley, January 18, 2018, Arkansas Times, Activists say Tom Cotton has issued do-not-call-or-write notice to some constituents. UPDATE. Such letters sent in 'extreme circumstances' says Cotton's office., Retrieved January 18, 2018, "...Fleming said he knew several people who'd received such a letter. He said he believed they all had made repeated phone calls to deliver similar talking points, but he said they were unlikely to have made rude or disparaging remarks....."
- Cotton, Tom; Pompeo, Mike (September 26, 2016). "What We Learned in Scandinavia About Migrants". The Wall Street Journal.(subscription required)
- 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.
- "Cotton Statement on the Violence in Charlottesville" (Press release). United States Senate. August 13, 2017.
- "Cotton: Diversity Lottery Is a Threat to Our National Security" (Press release). United States Senate. November 1, 2017.
- York, Byron (September 4, 2017). "Byron York: Tom Cotton, top Senate immigration hawk, supports legalization in DACA deal". The Washington Examiner.
- "E3 bill dies thanks to Senator Tom Cotton and incredibly, an Irish journalist Neil Munro". IrishCentral.com. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
- "What is the E3 visa and what does it mean to the Irish?". IrishCentral.com. 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
- "Irish E3 visas face further blow as another senator places hold on bill". IrishCentral.com. 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
- "Senator Tom Cotton refused to take Irish leader phone calls on E3 Irish visas". IrishCentral.com. 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
- Carney, Jordain. "Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown". The Hill.
- Bobic, Igor (September 5, 2014). "Tom Cotton Says He Will Vote For Minimum Wage Hike 'As A Citizen'". The Huffington Post.
- Ramsey, David (September 28, 2014). "The not-so-principled stand of Tom Cotton on the minimum wage". Arkansas Times.
- "House Vote 251 – Approves New Abortion Restrictions". The New York Times.
- "Tom Cotton on Abortion". On the Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "H.R.217 - Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act". United States Congress.
- "Tom Cotton on Civil Rights". On the Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "H.R.3133 - Marriage and Religious Freedom Act". United States Congress. September 19, 2013.
- "S.2034 - Thin Blue Line Act". United States Congress. September 15, 2015.
- Thomsen, Jacqueline (February 25, 2019). "Key senators say administration should ban Huawei tech in US electric grid". The Hill.
- McAuliff, Michael (August 1, 2013). "Tom Cotton, Arkansas Rep., Took Student Loans, Voted Against Them". The Huffington Post.
- Willick, Jason (December 9–10, 2017). "A Foreign Policy for 'Jacksonian America'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 5, 2018. (subscription required)
- Andrew Kugle (2018-12-18). "Cotton, Cruz Introduce Resolution Encouraging the United States to Recognize Israel's Sovereignty Over Golan Heights". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
- Kheel, Rebecca (September 19, 2016). "GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase". The Hill.
- "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.
- "Senators call on Trump administration to reconsider Syria withdrawal". The Hill. December 19, 2018.
- "Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions". The Hill. January 15, 2019.
- 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.
- Brantley, Max (March 17, 2014). "Tom Cotton still mum on marriage details". Arkansas Times.
- Cotton, Tom (April 28, 2015). "Hello, world! Since everyone is asking, my name is Gabriel". Twitter.
- Gangitano, Alex (December 7, 2016). "Sen. Tom Cotton Welcomes Second Child". Roll Call.
- "TOM COTTON ANNOUNCES U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGN" (Press release). Tom Cotton. August 6, 2013.
- Takala, Rudy (June 27, 2016). "Tom Cotton: 'Deterrence, once lost, is very hard to regain'". The Washington Examiner.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tom Cotton.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Tom Cotton|
- Official website
- Tom Cotton at Curlie
- 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
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|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|