WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) threw down the gauntlet to Senate Democrats on Thursday, telling the Federalist Society that Democrats would either agree to reasonable conditions for confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees or “face the Senate equivalent of martial law.”
Cotton delivered the opening address to the 2017 National Lawyers Convention of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy, the largest and most powerful group in the nation for conservative and libertarian legal thought. The three-day conference was held last week at the Mayflower Hotel in the nation’s capital.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on Wednesday responded to Democrats who are criticizing the Senate Republican tax reform bill for repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, reminding them how the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that the requirement is a tax.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Cotton addressed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D., N.Y.) comments earlier in the day that Republicans are “injecting health care into the tax bill” by including a repeal of the individual mandate, which forces most Americans who do not have health care to pay a fine.
Sen. Tom Cotton was about to enter the White House early this month to discuss immigration policy when he got an unexpected call from President Donald Trump to talk about a different topic.
For days, the Arkansas senator had been working behind the scenes to convince Republicans that reigniting a battle over repealing Obamacare in the tax fight wasn’t as crazy as it seemed. But Trump, still smarting from GOP’s failures to dismantle the law whom Cotton had first pitched on the idea four days prior, needed little persuading.
“I am with you 1,000 percent on this,” Trump told Cotton over the phone. Trump tweeted twice that Republicans should repeal the mandate…
This week, US Congress members accused Facebook, Twitter, and Google of being everything from hapless to stupid in a series of public hearings in Washington D.C.
But Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, took things a step further, and called them traitors. Cotton lit into Twitter attorney Sean Edgett about the company’s refusal last year to let US intelligence agencies use a data-mining tool, at the same time it was marketing the same tool to Russian state media outlet Russia Today.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) grilled Twitter’s acting general counsel Sean Edgett on Wednesday about the company’s willingness to cooperate with Russian government-funded media—but not with the U.S. government.
Edgett admitted that Twitter has had to reverse course on a number of issues in its attempts to apply policies consistently, but Cotton questioned their decisions. Namely, he pointed out ways in which RT, a Kremlin-sponsored propaganda outlet, was able to analyze tweets in real time using Dataminr—a software company partially owned by Twitter—even though Twitter prevented the U.S. government from doing so.
Last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, the American people elected as president someone with no high government experience—not a senator, not a congressman, not a governor, not a cabinet secretary, not a general. They did this, I believe, because they’ve lost faith in both the competence and the intentions of our governing class—of both parties! Government now takes nearly half of every dollar we earn and bosses us around in every aspect of life, yet can’t deliver basic services well. Our working class—the “forgotten man,” to use the phrase favored by Ronald Reagan and FDR—has seen its wages stagnate, while the four richest counties in America are inside the Washington Beltway. The kids of the working class are those who chiefly fight our seemingly endless wars and police our streets, only to come in for criticism too often from the very elite who sleep under the blanket of security they provide.
Donald Trump understood these things, though I should add he didn’t cause them. His victory was more effect than cause of our present discontents. The multiplying failures and arrogance of our governing class are what created the conditions for his victory.
It’s unfortunate and profoundly disappointing Congress proved itself incapable of repealing and replacing ObamaCare. But for lower-income Americans who feel the pain of this law each day, that’s all the more reason for Congress to exempt them from one of ObamaCare’s cruelest provisions: the individual mandate.
Intended to force “young invincibles” to buy insurance, in practice, the mandate has forced millions of people to get by with even less. Currently, the law requires every working-age American to buy health insurance—or pay a penalty equal to 2.5 percent of household income or about $700, whichever is greater.
Senators Tom Cotton (R., Ark. ) and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) introduced the VALOR Act, which will help military veterans have more access to apprenticeship programs.
Currently, private apprenticeship training programs in multiple states are required to register with each state’s approval agency, which increases the amount of paperwork and review processes they have to go through. Because of this, some of these programs have decided to limit themselves to a smaller number of states and have been discouraged from opening up programs for veterans.
Susan Glasser: Well, fantastic. This is Susan Glasser, and welcome back to The Global POLITICO. We’re here in the Russell Senate Office Building with Senator Tom Cotton, probably one of the leading Republican voices on foreign policy and national security today, up on Capitol Hill, so it’s a real treat to talk with him, especially in the middle of what—I know he’s smiling, here—has been quite a newsy week that he also found himself in the middle of. He’s given a major speech about the Iran deal. It looks like the policy is headed in the direction he suggested it should go. He’s also spent a lot of time at the White House this week.
So I’ve got to ask you about that, first of all. You went to dinner with President Trump. You were back up there, today. What did you talk about so much?
Tom Cotton: Well, we had wide-ranging conversations this week, as we normally do, about what is on the Senate’s agenda and what’s on our country’s agenda. But as you say, Iran, right now, is on the president’s mind, probably more than anything. He’s our commander in chief. It’s his job to protect this country from threats like Iran, and under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, he has to decide, by October 15, whether to certify that the Iran nuclear deal is in the United States’ vital national security interest and Iran is complying with that deal. So we’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks discussing that matter, in addition to things like immigration, with which I work closely with the president and his senior team, and taxes, which is dominating the Senate agenda right now.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) lays out his views on a strategic basis for non-certification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and offers a way forward on U.S.-Iran policy.
SEIB: Welcome. Welcome to today’s Council on Foreign Relations meeting with Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas on a crucial and timely topic, the future of the nuclear deal with Iran. I’m Jerry Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal, and I’ll be presiding over the discussion.
Senator Cotton, as you know, is a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School, and as a member of the United States Army served two combat tours—one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. And now, in the Senate, he serves on both the Armed Services and the Intelligence Committees.
Senator Cotton will speak for a few minutes, giving his views on what he thinks the course ahead should be for the Iran nuclear deal. Then he and I will have a brief conversation, after which we’ll open the floor to member questions.