Tom Cotton: Putting his reckless ambitions ahead of Arkansas

THE SUMMARY

2014-01-06 Cotton Get AheadTom Cotton is the only Arkansan in Congress who voted against affordable student loans for our kids, and only Cotton voted to deny Medicare and Social Security until people turn 70.

And he’s the only Arkansan to collect nearly six hundred thousand dollars in campaign cash from a Washington insider group that wanted him to vote that way.

Putting his reckless ambitions ahead of Arkansas. That’s Tom Cotton


THE FACTS

Tom Cotton is at it again: developing a remarkable record of recklessly putting his blind ambition ahead of what’s best for the people of Arkansas.

Cotton was the lone Arkansan to vote against bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of student loans…the same program he used to help pay for his own tuition at Harvard. That’s like climbing up a ladder and then pulling it up afterwards.

And no one from Arkansas except Cotton voted to deny Medicare and Social Security to Arkansans until they turn 70. Why?

We do know that his special interest benefactors have already spent nearly $4 million on behalf of his campaign. They wanted him to vote that way. In fact one of them–the Club for Growth–has given Cotton envelopes stuffed with nearly $600,000 in campaign cash.

Recklessly putting blind ambition ahead of the people of Arkansas. That’s Tom Cotton.


THE PROOF

TOM COTTON. THE ONLY ARKANSAN IN CONGRESS WHO VOTED AGAINST LOWER-COST STUDENT LOANS.

Cotton Was One Of Only 31 House Members—The Only Arkansan—To Vote Against Bipartisan Plan To Reduce Student Loan Interest Rates. In July 2013, Cotton was the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to vote against Kline, R-Minn., motion to suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendment to the bill that would set federal student loan interest rates issued after July 1, 2013 to the Treasury Department’s 10-year borrowing rate, plus 2.05 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized undergraduate loans, 3.6 percent for graduate loans and 4.6 percent for PLUS loans. The loan rates would be capped at 8.25 percent, 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. It would require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress within four months detailing the federal government’s cost of administering the student loan program and recommendations to avoid generating additional revenue from the program. The motion was agreed to 392-31: R 221-6; D 171-25; I 0-0. [HR 1911, Vote 426, 7/31/13]

HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO VOTED TO DENY MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY UNTIL PEOPLE TURN 70.

Cotton Was the Only Member Of The Arkansas Delegation To Vote for Republican Study Committee Budget That Transformed Medicare Into Voucher System, Raised the Eligibility Age For Medicare And Social Security To 70 And Cut Social Security Benefits. In 2013, Cotton voted for the Republican Study Committee budget that “would assume the transformation of Medicare into a premium support program that would compete against private plans.” According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the budget “transitions Medicare to a premium support system by 2019 for new beneficiaries, and raises the Medicare retirement age to 70 and indexes it to life expectancy… Unlike other budgets, [Republican Study Budget] also addresses Social Security specifically by switching to the chained CPI for cost-of-living adjustments and increasing the full retirement age to 70 and indexing it for life expectancy.” According to the AARP, “Changing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) using a chained CPI would have a detrimental impact on the economic wellbeing of older and disabled Americans and their family members who receive benefits from Social Security. Small reductions to the annual COLA will accumulate over time so that the largest reductions in benefits will be on the oldest beneficiaries and the long-term disabled. For example, 92- year-old beneficiaries who were on the program for 30 years would see an 8.4% cut in benefits. Disabled children could face even larger benefit cuts over their lifetime. Oldest Americans are the least able to absorb cuts to their benefits as they are more reliant on Social Security for their income and have higher out-of-pocket medical spending and a higher poverty rate than younger Americans.” The budget was rejected by a vote of 104-132. [CQ; H Con Res 25, Vote #86, 3/20/13; Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, 3/19/13; AARP, October 2012]

    • KATV: Cotton Did Support The Republican Study Committee’s 2014 Budget That Would Raise The Social Security Eligibility Age To 70. “Cotton did support the Republican Study Committee’s 2014 budget, which proposed the eligibility age would increase to age 70 in two month increments, beginning in 2024.” [KATV, 11/13/13]

AND TOM COTTON IS THE ONLY ARKANSAN TO GET NEARLY SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM A WASHINGTON INSIDER GROUP THAT WANTED HIM TO VOTE THAT WAY.

From 2011-2013 Club For Growth Has Donated Over $500,000 To Cotton’s Campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, from 2011 through May 31st, 2013, the Club for Growth donated $335,833 to Cotton’s campaign account. According to Cotton’s third quarter FEC report, covering June 1st, 2013 through September 30, 2013, the Club for Growth donated nearly $180,000 to Cotton. [Top Contributors, Cotton, Center for Responsive Politics, 8/19/13; Cotton for Senate, FEC.gov, 10/13/13]

    • Club For Growth Spent Another $520,000 On Ads Benefitting Cotton. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2014, the Club for Growth spent $520,112 on independent expenditures against Senator Pryor, as of November 10, 2013. [Center for Responsive Politics, 11/10/13]
    • Cotton Described Receiving A FedEx Envelope Stuffed With $300,000 In Checks From The Club For Growth.” In January 2013, Politico wrote: “Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, a veteran of two wars and with a pair of Harvard degrees, got a pleasant surprise last year that helped him win a very competitive Republican primary — and then a very easy general election. It was a FedEx envelope full of checks that he didn’t ask for, from a group he hardly knew — the Club for Growth. Tucked inside that envelope and several to come were $300,000 in checks from Club members, enough to help lift the 35-year-old former Army captain from obscurity — and 47 percentage points down in his first internal poll — to the fourth floor of the Cannon House Office Building.” [Politico, 1/8/13]

HEADLINE: Club For Growth Urges Republicans In House To Vote Against Student-Loan Bill. [The Hill, 4/27/12]

Club For Growth Opposed Plan To Keep Student Loan Interest Rates From Doubling. According to the Hill, “The well-funded, fiscally conservative Club for Growth has urged House Republicans to vote against legislation that would extend lower interest rates on federal student loans, a move that could complicate Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to pass the legislation on Friday. ‘The federal government should not be in the business of distorting the market for student loans,’ said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. ‘Decades of government intervention have driven tuition costs to record highs, and continuing these subsidies is simply bad policy. We urge members of Congress to oppose them… The bill would extend subsidies on federal student loans, keeping the interest rate at 3.4 percent rather than 6.8.” [The Hill, 4/27/12]

PUTTING HIS RECKLESS AMBITIONS AHEAD OF ARKANSAS. THAT’S TOM COTTON.