Auto DraftJohn Boozman – AR

Current Position: US Senator since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): US Representative from 2001 – 2011; Optometrist

Featured Quote: 
The @TaxFoundation
found Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree would result in Arkansans paying, on average, $745 more in taxes within 5 years. READ my latest weekly column on how we’re all paying the price for it through higher taxes and inflation.

Featured Video: 
Boozman: Democrats’ Tax and Spend Policies Will Devastate Family Farms and Ranches, Rural America

Sen. Boozman urges Veteran’s Affairs to address oversights
KNWA, Justin TrobaughSeptember 10, 2021 (Short)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KNWA/KFTA) — Sen. John Boozman urges the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to address its oversight failures across the country.

This comes after a report found the Fayetteville VA failed to properly oversee former VA pathologist Robert Morris Levy who was drunk on the job.

Boozman co-signed a letter with members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to the VA secretary.

Levy was sentenced to 240 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter and mail fraud on January 22.


Current Position: US Senator since 2011
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): US Representative from 2001 – 2011; Optometrist

Featured Quote: 
The @TaxFoundation
found Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree would result in Arkansans paying, on average, $745 more in taxes within 5 years. READ my latest weekly column on how we’re all paying the price for it through higher taxes and inflation.

Featured Video: 
Boozman: Democrats’ Tax and Spend Policies Will Devastate Family Farms and Ranches, Rural America


Sen. Boozman urges Veteran’s Affairs to address oversights
KNWA, Justin TrobaughSeptember 10, 2021 (Short)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KNWA/KFTA) — Sen. John Boozman urges the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to address its oversight failures across the country.

This comes after a report found the Fayetteville VA failed to properly oversee former VA pathologist Robert Morris Levy who was drunk on the job.

Boozman co-signed a letter with members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to the VA secretary.

Levy was sentenced to 240 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter and mail fraud on January 22.



John Boozman

Source: Government page

John Boozman is Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator and the dean of the state’s Congressional delegation.

A fifth-generation Arkansan, John was raised in Fort Smith and graduated from Northside High School. He went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas.

As the son of an Air Force Master Sergeant, John learned at an early age about the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, as well as the unique challenges military families face. He brings these values with him to Washington where he is committed to enhancing the quality of life for both our veterans and their families. As a member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, John has authored provisions to bolster care and services for women veterans, modernize educational benefits under the GI Bill and better reach and provide mental health care and resources to former service members.

John will serve as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry during the 117thCongress. This position enables him to play a key role in influencing policy that relates to the agriculture economy, nutrition programs and quality of life in rural America.

John will also continue to serve on the Committee on Appropriations, which is responsible for allocating federal funds, and the Committee on the Environment and Public Works, where much of the nation’s infrastructure policy is developed.

Along with these committees, John serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, commonly referred to as the Helsinki Commission. He serves on the Congressional Study Group on Europe (CSGE), a bipartisan organization dedicated to frank and candid dialogue between American lawmakers and their peers in European capitals and Brussels, and has been appointed the Vice Chairman of the Senate Delegation to the British-American Interparliamentary Group during the 117th Congress.

In addition, John also serves as one of six Congressional Regents on the Smithsonian Institute’s Board of Regents which governs and administers the organization.

First elected to the Senate in 2010, John was sworn in for a second term on January 3, 2017. Prior to serving in the Senate, he represented the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Active in his community, John has served on the Rogers School Board, the Benton County Fair Board, established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. He successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University.

John, is married to the former Cathy Marley and they currently reside in Rogers. The couple has three daughters and four grandchildren.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills


4-H Caucus*
Afterschool Caucus
Air Force Caucus*
Anti-Value Added Tax Caucus (Anti-VAT Caucus)
Bicameral Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease
Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease
Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus
Coalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE)
Congressional Arthritis Caucus
Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus
Congressional Boating Caucus
Congressional Caucus on the European Union
Congressional Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Caucus (COPD)
Congressional Coalition on Adoption
Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus
Congressional Fire Services Caucus
Congressional French Caucus*
Congressional Glaucoma Caucus
Congressional Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus
Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus
Congressional Manufactured Housing Caucus
Congressional Olympic and Paralympic Caucus
Congressional Real Estate Caucus
Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus
Congressional TRIO Caucus
Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus
Congressional Vision Caucus
Career & Technical Education Caucus (CTE)
Friends of Wales Caucus
International Conservation Caucus (ICC)
Mississippi River Caucus
National Service Caucus
Panama Canal Expansion Caucus
Paper and Packaging Caucus*
Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus
Second Amendment Task Force
Senate ALS Caucus
Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus
Senate Broadband Caucus*
Senate Chemistry Caucus
Senate Chicken Caucus
Senate Community Health Center Caucus
Senate Cybersecurity Caucus
Senate General Aviation Caucus*
Senate Hunger Caucus*
Senate Law Enforcement Caucus
Senate Malaria Working Group
Senate Marine Corps Caucus
Senate Manufacturing Caucus
Senate National Guard Caucus
Senate Oceans Caucus
Senate Prayer Caucus
Senate Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus
Senate Recycling Caucus*
Senate Rural Health Caucus
Senate Steel Caucus
Senate Taiwan Caucus
Senate Travel & Tourism Caucus
Senate Unmanned Aerial Systems Caucus
Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus
Senate Western Caucus
U.S.- Korea Caucus
USO Congressional Caucus
Whistleblower Protection Caucus
Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus


Washington, DC

141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4843

Little Rock

1401 W. Capitol Ave.
Suite 155
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 372-7153
Fax: (501) 372-7163

Fort Smith

1120 Garrison Ave.
Suite 2B
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Phone: (479) 573-0189
Fax: (479) 575-0553


213 West Monroe
Suite N
Lowell, AR 72745
Phone: (479) 725-0400
Fax: (479) 725-0408


300 South Church St.
Suite 400
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: (870) 268-6925
Fax: (870) 268-6887

Mountain Home

1001 Hwy. 62 East
Suite 11
Mountain Home, AR 72653
Phone: (870) 424-0129
Fax: (870) 424-0141

El Dorado

106 West Main St.
Suite 104
El Dorado, AR 71730
Phone: (870) 863-4641
Fax: (870) 863-4105


620 E. 22nd St.
Suite 204
Stuttgart, AR 72160
Phone: (870) 672-6941
Fax: (870) 672-6962




Government Page, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


Source: none

Campaign Finance

Open Secrets – We Follow the Money

Voting Record

VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings



Wikipedia Entry

John Nichols Boozman (/ˈbz.mən/ BOHZ-mən; born December 10, 1950) is an American politician and former optometrist serving as the senior United States senator from Arkansas, a seat he has held since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Arkansas’s 3rd congressional district from 2001 to 2011. He is the dean of Arkansas’s congressional delegation.

Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force, but the family eventually returned to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he was raised. He is the brother of the late State Senator Fay Boozman. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry. He co-founded a private optometry clinic in 1977 and worked as a volunteer optometrist for low-income families. He won a special election in 2001 to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as assistant majority whip and sat on the Republican Policy Committee. He was an advocate for drug policy issues and chaired the Veteran Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, where he led the passage of bills expanding services for unemployed veterans.

Boozman was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, defeating Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln by a 21-point margin and becoming the first Republican to be elected to the seat since Reconstruction. He took office in January 2011 and is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade and the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. He is also a senior member of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Boozman became the senior senator from Arkansas in 2015 when Mark Pryor left the Senate after his defeat. Boozman was reelected in 2016.

Early life, education and career

Boozman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana,[1] the son of Marie E. (née Nichols) and Fay Winford Boozman, Jr. (1923–1991).[2] Boozman’s father, whose last address was in Rogers, Arkansas, was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force.[3] His elder brother, Fay Boozman (1946–2005), was also a politician. After graduating from Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Boozman played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks at the University of Arkansas, which he attended from 1969 to 1973,[4] while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He did not graduate from the University of Arkansas.[5] He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year as co-founder of Boozman-Hof Regional Eye Clinic in Rogers, which has become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas. He established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families.

Before his election to Congress, Boozman served two terms on the Rogers Public School Board, which governs one of Arkansas’s largest school districts.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives


Boozman was elected to Congress in a special election after his predecessor, Asa Hutchinson, resigned to become the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Boozman was unopposed in 2002, defeated Democratic State Representative 59%-38% in 2004, and defeated Democratic nominee in 2006. He was unopposed in 2008.


In October 2002, Boozman voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution that led to the Iraq War.[7] In 2011, after 4,500 Americans and hundreds of thousands of civilians had died, Boozman said the war was “worth it.”[8]

Starting during the 108th Congress, Boozman served as an Assistant Whip, making him responsible for helping House Republican Whips Roy Blunt and Eric Cantor secure the votes for or against major legislation.

Boozman was also named to the Speaker’s Task Force for a Drug-Free America in 2003. The task force advised House Speaker Dennis Hastert on major drug policy issues and helped author legislation regarding recreational drugs, including anti-methamphetamine legislation. Boozman was the lead author of the Stop Marketing Illegal Drugs to Minors Act, a bill that would increase penalties on criminals who design and market drugs, such as candy-flavored meth, that are targeted to kids.[9] He was praised by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, earning the organization’s Congressional Leadership Award in 2009.[10] In 2006, Congress passed a Boozman-authored provision promoting an expanded role for drug courts in efforts to reduce drug abuse and recidivism.[11]

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Boozman endorsed former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee for president.

In the 109th Congress, Boozman chaired the Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, which focuses on ensuring veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life. He has used his seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee to pass legislation honoring the service and sacrifice of United States military veterans and increasing benefits to them and their families. In the 111th Congress, Boozman introduced and the House of Representatives passed the Veterans Retraining Act of 2009, which provides resources and training opportunities for unemployed veterans.[12] The House also passed several other Boozman-authored bills, including one that creates grants to help disabled veterans adapt their homes and vehicles to meet their needs.[13]

In May 2004, Boozman was appointed to the House Policy Committee, a committee of Republicans who vet issues and formulate legislation to address them.[14]

Boozman was also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), an inter-parliamentary organization of legislators from the 19 member countries of NATO and 20 associate countries. He was also appointed vice-chairman of the British American Parliamentary Group, a group of American and British lawmakers who meet to discuss issues of concern and fortify the already strong alliance between the two nations.

Boozman was a member of numerous House caucuses, including the Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine, the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus, the Congressional Rural Caucus and the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus. He was also one of the founding members of the Congressional I-49 Caucus to promote completion of Interstate 49, and chaired the Congressional Caucus on the Ivory Coast and West Africa Caucus.’s power rankings rated Boozman’s power rating at 7.31, making him the 386th most powerful member out of 435.[15]

According to the April 28, 2007, Washington Post, Boozman was told by officials in the White House about its intention to fire Bud Cummins, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and replace him with Tim Griffin, an aide to Karl Rove. According to the Post, none of the Democrats in Arkansas’ congressional delegation were told that Cummins was to be one of eight U.S. Attorneys to be fired. Although Boozman did not represent any counties in the Eastern District, he was informed because he was the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation.

Boozman told the Post and the Associated Press that White House officials had promised him that Griffin would be subject to Senate confirmation. Instead, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appointed Griffin as interim U.S. Attorney, using a provision of the Patriot Act that has since been repealed due to the controversy. Boozman also said that he did not think Cummins should have been fired because he was “very well respected and has served the president well.”[16]

U.S. Senate



In 2010, Boozman resigned his House seat to run for the Senate seat held by incumbent two-term Democrat Blanche Lincoln. He won the May 2010 Republican primary and defeated Lincoln in the general election with nearly 58% of the vote.[17]


Boozman won a second term in 2016, defeating former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge with 59.8% of the vote.[18] He became the first Republican to be popularly elected to a second term in the Senate from Arkansas.[citation needed]


On March 6, 2021, Boozman announced he would seek a third term as Senator.[19]


Boozman began his term in the Senate in January 2011.

Boozman agreed, alongside Tom Cotton and other Republican senators, to object to the certification of the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count. But in the wake of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, both Boozman and Cotton voted in support of the certification. Boozman called the attack on the Capitol “shocking and unlawful” and “a dark moment in our country’s history that we must reckon with today and in the days to come.”[20]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions and votes

Boozman voted for legislation requiring the Food and Drug Administration to improve safety by regulating non-corrective colored contact lenses as medical devices.[24] President Bush signed this legislation into law in 2005.[25]

In the 111th Congress, Boozman introduced legislation (H.R. 2230) to provide tax credits for teachers and principals who work in challenging, low-income schools.[13] He has also introduced legislation to reform the No Child Left Behind Act. One bill (H.R. 2229) would give states latitude to adopt alternate and modified standards for children with disabilities.[26] Boozman said that this legislation “preserves accountability and helps to ensure our good schools stop ending up on the ‘Needs-Improvement List’.”

Other Boozman bills include legislation to provide a tax credit for volunteer firefighters, a bill to provide for parental notification and intervention when a minor seeks an abortion, and a bill to create alternatives to traditional foreign aid to poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa.[13][27]

The Zionist Organization of America has praised Boozman for his call to stop federal aid to Hamas.[28]

On December 11, 2014, Boozman voted “yea” on Senator Ted Cruz‘s point of order declaring the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (popularly called the “cromnibus” bill) unconstitutional because it funded President Barack Obama‘s executive order regarding children who are undocumented immigrants.[29] But Boozman voted for the “cromnibus” bill.[29] He has received an 85.48% Lifetime Score from the American Conservative Union.[30]

Arkansas history

Boozman has worked to preserve the historical record of the role Arkansas played in the westward expansion and development of the United States. He introduced legislation in the 110th Congress calling for a study of the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Trail for the potential addition to the National Trails System. This legislation passed as part of an omnibus bill (P.L. 111-11), and was signed by Obama on March 30, 2009.[31]

In addition to preserving the historical significance of the Butterfield Trail, Boozman assisted the effort to secure the home of the U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith.[32] He worked with the Fort Smith Marshals Museum Steering Committee, the Western District U.S. Marshals Office to “Bring It Home.” In January 2007 it was announced that Fort Smith would be the permanent home of the U.S. Marshals Museum. In the 111th Congress, Boozman introduced legislation to recognize the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service with a commemorative coin to be minted in 2014.[33]

Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson listen to Boozman speak about flood damage in Arkansas in 2017

Among other legislative achievements, Boozman has penned three bills, each enacted into law, to name certain U.S. Post Offices in Arkansas.[34] The Harrison Post Office was named after former Arkansas Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt. In his remarks on the Hammerschmidt Bill (H.R. 4811), Boozman said, “no one understands my congressional district like the kind and thoughtful gentleman who represented much of Arkansas in the Congress from 1967 through 1993. I consider John Paul Hammerschmidt a mentor and a friend. During his 26 years in Congress, John Paul became known for his strong work ethic and attention to individual constituent service. His fellow members came to rely on his legislative expertise in highways, aviation and waterway infrastructure.”[35]

Health care reform

Boozman voted against the Affordable Care Act on November 7, 2009. He issued the following statement that day: “I am for health care reform. Unfortunately, this bill does more harm than good. The American people deserve health care reform that gives them access to quality and affordable health care and allows them to make decisions that are best for the care they need. Instead of increasing taxes, entitlement programs and red tape to reform health care we need to let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines; allow small businesses to pool together to buy health insurance at lower prices and end lawsuits that contribute to escalating costs because of doctors being forced to practice defensive medicine.”[36] Throughout the debate, Boozman pointed to Medicare cuts, including cuts to Medicare Advantage, increased taxes on health insurance and innovations, and anti-abortion concerns.[37][38][39]

Donald Trump

Boozman voted with President Donald Trump 91.5% of the time.[40] In Trump’s first and second impeachment trials, Boozman voted to acquit.[41] His statement on his Vote to Acquit Former President Donald Trump was: “January 6, 2021 will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. The attack on the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob was a threat to our democracy. Courageous law enforcement officers defended lives and safeguarded the constitutional duty of Congress to certify the presidential election. While former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for what happened that day, the perpetrators who planned, coordinated and assaulted the Capitol building must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and brought to justice. I maintain my belief that the constitutional legitimacy of this impeachment trial was lacking, and therefore the outcome was expected. The Senate’s time would have been better spent considering solutions that improve COVID-19 vaccination deployment, advance economic recovery efforts and reopen our nation’s schools. We should immediately work together to achieve those critical objectives.”[42]

Gun violence and firearm laws

Boozman has an A rating from the National Rifle Association for his support of gun rights.[43] In May 2011, he voted to table an amendment that prohibited usage of the Patriot Act to access firearm records.[44] This vote helped ensure the amendment, which would have made it illegal to use the Patriot Act to firearm records, would not reach a vote or become law.[44] In April 2013, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Boozman was one of 46 senators to vote against a bill that would have extended background checks to all firearm transfers. He voted with 40 Republicans and five Democrats to stop the bill.[45]

Boozman voted against the proposed Feinstein Amendment, in 2016, that sought to ban the sale of firearms to known and/or suspected terrorists,[46] claiming that it would deprive Americans of due process.

Employment discrimination

In November 2013, Boozman was one of 32 senators (all Republican) to vote against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill prohibiting discrimination in organizations of 15 or more employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[47]

In April 2014, Boozman voted against a cloture motion for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that establishes additional penalties for violations of equal pay requirements in the Fair Labor Standards Act, including a prohibition on an employer from paying a wage rate to employees of a particular sex that is lower than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work unless such payment is made due to certain factors including, but not limited to, “a bona fide factor other than sex.”[48] Some groups characterized the legislation as redundant, citing the 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as existing protections against wage discrimination based on gender or race. The Senate Republican Conference called the bill and vote “a transparent attempt by Democrats to distract from President Obama’s” record on the economy and health care and “the latest ploy in the Democrats’ election-year playbook.”[49]

Civil rights

In September 2004, Boozman voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.[50] The amendment did not pass.[50]

In July 2006, Boozman co-introduced and voted for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.[51] The amendment did not pass.[51]

In April 2009, Boozman voted against the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which sought to define crimes committed against a person because of their sexual orientation or gender identity as hate crimes. He said he “opposed this legislation because it creates a new federal offense for so-called hate crimes, and adds a special class crimes potentially motivated by the victims sexual orientation, ‘gender identity,’ or the perceived thoughts of the alleged criminal.”[52] The act passed the House.[52]

In December 2010, Boozman voted against repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, claiming that the “current policy has worked well” and that “we haven’t had any significant problems with it.”[53][54] The vote passed by a margin of 250-175, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed.[53]

In December 2012, Boozman voted against ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.[55] The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities sought to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity,” but the convention only reached 61 of the 66 votes required for passage.[55][56]

In February 2013, Boozman voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.[57][58] The bill passed by a 78–22 margin.[57] He cited concerns “about the constitutionality of allowing tribal courts jurisdiction over non-Native Americans who are accused of committing an act of domestic violence on tribal lands or against Native Americans” as part of his opposition to the measure.[59]

Veterans Job Corps

In September 2012, Boozman voted to block advancement of the Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012, even though he partially authored the bill.[60] The bill, which would have established a $1 billion Veterans Jobs Corps at a time when the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 10.9%, fell two votes shy (58–40) of the 60 needed for passage.[60] The legislation underwent changes related to how it would offset spending, which led Boozman to vote against it. “He had hoped to support the legislation but in the end could not support it because it increased spending beyond the limits imposed by [the previous year’s] deficit reduction agreement.” Boozman also disputed the claim that he’d agreed to back the bill after GOP initiatives were added to it, saying he “was never consulted on the addition and [was] not part of the negotiation process for this legislation.”[61] He added, “Half-truths are whole lies. I had a bill I had helped write with Senator [Mark] Begich of Alaska, a Democrat friend who is also on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. We introduced it. They [the Senate Democratic leadership] took part of our bill, changed the wording, stuck it into bill and then said we had co-authored that [new] bill when the reality was neither he nor I had ever seen the [new] bill until it was actually introduced.”[62]


In 2017, Boozman was one of 22 senators to sign a letter[63] to President Donald Trump urging him to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Boozman has received nearly $150,000 from oil, gas and coal interests since 2012.[64] He also argued that the EPA regulations are actually creating a dirtier climate abroad and providing no gain to the United States.[65]

Boozman cited the Obama administration’s failure to bring the accord before the U.S. Senate for a vote as a treaty. He also reiterated his position that the United States should continue to “pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to meeting our energy needs free of the significant litigation risk created by the agreement” and emphasized his view that the withdrawal would “not take away the United States’ seat at the table in future discussions, nor will it detract from our efforts to pursue renewable energy solutions…including emissions-free nuclear energy.”[66]

Foreign policy

In March 2017, Boozman co-sponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (s. 720), which made it a federal crime for Americans to encourage or participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories if protesting actions by the Israeli government.[67][68]

In January 2019, Boozman was one of 11 Republican senators to vote to advance legislation intended to block Trump’s intent to lift sanctions against three Russian companies.[69]

National security

On May 28, 2021, Boozman voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack.[70]

Electoral history

U.S. House election, 2002: Arkansas, District 3
RepublicanJohn Boozman (Incumbent) 141,478 98.90%
Write-InGeorge N. Lyne1,5771.10%
Total votes143,055 100.00
Republican hold
U.S. House election, 2004: Arkansas, District 3
RepublicanJohn Boozman (Incumbent) 160,629 59.32%
DemocraticJan Judy103,15838.09%
IndependentDale Morfey7,0162.59%
Total votes270,803 100.00
Republican hold
U.S. House election, 2006: Arkansas, District 3
RepublicanJohn Boozman (Incumbent) 125,039 62.23%
DemocraticWoodrow Anderson75,88537.77%
Total votes200,924 100.00
Republican hold
U.S. House election, 2008: Arkansas, District 3
RepublicanJohn Boozman (Incumbent) 215,196 78.53%
GreenAbel Noah Tomlinson58,85021.47%
Total votes274,046 100.00
Republican hold
Republican primary results[71]
Republican John Boozman 75,010 52.7%
RepublicanJim Holt24,82617.5%
RepublicanGilbert Baker16,54011.6%
RepublicanConrad Reynolds7,1285.0%
RepublicanCurtis Coleman6,9284.9%
RepublicanKim Hendren5,5513.9%
RepublicanRandy Alexander4,3893.1%
RepublicanFred Ramey1,8881.3%
Total votes142,260 100.0%
United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2010[72]
RepublicanJohn Boozman 451,617 57.90% +13.83%
DemocraticBlanche Lincoln (Incumbent)288,15636.95%-18.95%
LibertarianTrevor Drown25,2343.24%+3.24%
GreenJohn Gray14,4301.85%+1.85%
Total votes779,437 100.00%
Republican gain from Democratic
Republican primary results[73]
Republican John Boozman (Incumbent) 298,039 76.45%
RepublicanCurtis Coleman91,79523.55%
Total votes389,834 100.00%
United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2016[74]
RepublicanJohn Boozman (Incumbent) 661,984 59.77% +1.87%
DemocraticConner Eldridge400,60236.17%-0.78%
LibertarianFrank Gilbert43,8663.96%+0.72%
Total votes1,107,522 100.00%
Republican hold

Personal life

Boozman lives in Rogers with his wife, Cathy Marley Boozman.[75][76] They have three daughters. He has raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, and in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. The Boozman family is active in the 4-H program.[75]

On April 22, 2014, Boozman underwent emergency heart surgery.[77] In 2017, he underwent a successful followup procedure that was recommended by doctors who had been monitoring his aorta since a tear in it was surgically repaired in 2014.[78]

John’s ophthalmologist brother, Fay Winford Boozman III, co-founded the Boozman Regional Eye Clinic (now named BoozmanHof Regional Eye Clinic) with John after receiving his ophthalmology degree. Fay was elected to the Arkansas Senate in 1994 as a Republican and was nominated for the United States Senate in Arkansas in the 1998 election, losing to Democratic Congresswoman Blanche Lincoln 55% to 42%.[79] Despite his defeat, Fay was nominated to be director of the Arkansas Health Department in 1999.[80] He remained close with former Governor Mike Huckabee, and also with his brother Fay until his untimely death due to an accident on his Arkansas farm in 2005 at the age of 59.[80]

As of 2017, according to, Boozman’s net worth was more than $2.3 million.[81]


  1. ^ “BOOZMAN, John – Biographical Information”. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  2. ^ “John Boozman ancestry”. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  3. ^ “Veterans’ Affairs : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas”. 2008-10-10. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  4. ^ “John Boozman’s biography”. Project VoteSmart. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  5. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2010-11-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Lyon, John. “Three from Arkansas seek U.S. Senate seat”. Pine Bluff Commercial. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  8. ^ “Boozman: Iraq War Was Worth It – Talk Business & Politics”. Talk Business & Politics. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  9. ^ “Bill Text – H. R. 3702 111th Congress (2009–2010)”. 19 October 2009.
  10. ^ “Boozman Recognized for Pioneering Efforts in Drug Courts”. Cutting Edge 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  11. ^ “ | Library of Congress”. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009.
  12. ^ “Bill Text – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – THOMAS (Library of Congress)”. Archived from the original on 2012-12-16. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  13. ^ a b c “ | Library of Congress”. Archived from the original on May 9, 2009.
  14. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-03-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Eggen, Dan (April 28, 2007). “GOP Lawmaker Told of Plan to Fire U.S. Attorney”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
  17. ^ “Arkansas-Election Results 2010”. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  18. ^ “Arkansas U.S. Senate Results: John Boozman Wins”. The New York Times. August 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  19. ^ “Boozman announces 2022 Re-Election Bid”. March 6, 2021.
  20. ^ “Boozman on Capitol riot: ‘This incident cannot define us, but it must persuade us. KLRT – 7 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  21. ^ Nancy Erickson, ed. (2011). Committee and Subcommittee Assignments for the One Hundred Twelfth Congress (PDF). United States Government Printing Office.
  22. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2013-04-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ “Members”. Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  24. ^ “There are Doctors in the House, and Eye Doctors in the Senate”. Vision Monday. 29 March 2020.
  25. ^ “S. 172 [109th]: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for the regulation of all…” Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  26. ^ “Education Reform : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas”. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  27. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Klein, Morton. “ZOA Praises 16 GOP Senators For Boozman-Moran ZOA-Initiated Letter To Obama Stating – No U.S. Aid For Hamas/PA Govt”. Zionist Organization of America. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  29. ^ a b “9 Senators Who Agree They Violated Their Oath of Office”. Conservative Review. 2014-12-15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  30. ^ “Sen. John Boozman”. American Conservative Union Center for Legislative Accountability. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  31. ^ “Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2010-01-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ “Article 404 – Times Record – Fort Smith, AR”. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  33. ^ “Article 404 – Times Record – Fort Smith, AR”. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  34. ^ “Rep. John Boozman [R-AR3]”. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  35. ^ [1][dead link]
  36. ^ “Boozman Votes ‘No’ To A Takeover of Government Healthcare : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas”. 2009-11-07. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  37. ^ “Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice”. YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10.[dead link]
  38. ^ “Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice”. YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10.[dead link]
  39. ^ “Kanaal van BoozmanPressOffice”. YouTube. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-07-10.[dead link]
  40. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (2017-01-30). “Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  41. ^ Still, Ashlyn; Rieger, J. M.; Blanco, Adrian. “How Democratic and Republican senators voted on Trump’s second impeachment”. Washington Post. Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  42. ^ “Boozman Statement on Vote to Acquit Former President Trump”. U.S. Senator John Boozman. Retrieved 2021-11-04.
  43. ^ Bloch, Matthew; Fairfield, Hannah; Harris, Jacob; Keller, Josh; reporting, Derek Willis/The New York Times Kitty Bennett contributed (19 December 2012). “How the National Rifle Association Rates Lawmakers”. The New York Times. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  44. ^ a b “U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote”. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  45. ^ Silver, Nate (2013-04-18). “Modeling the Senate’s Vote on Gun Control”. The New York Times.
  46. ^ “Eldridge blasts Boozman for gun vote”. Times Record. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  47. ^ Brydum, Sunnivie (2013-11-07). “BREAKING: Senate Approves ENDA on Initial Vote”. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  48. ^ “S 2199 – Paycheck Fairness Act – Key Vote – The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  49. ^ Joachim, David S. (April 9, 2014). “Senate Republicans Block Bill on Equal Pay”. The New York Times.
  50. ^ a b “FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 484” (PDF). 2004. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  51. ^ a b “FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 378” (PDF). 2006. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  52. ^ a b “Boozman Opposes Thought-Crimes Legislation – Public Statements – The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  53. ^ a b “HR 2965 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act – Voting Record – U.S. House – The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  54. ^ “John Boozman on Civil Rights”. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  55. ^ a b “US: Senate Misses Opportunity on Disability Convention”. The Huffington Post. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  56. ^ “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. 2007-03-30. Archived from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  57. ^ a b “S. 47 (113th): Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013”. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  58. ^ “Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act” (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-01-22. Retrieved 2016-12-08 – via National Archives.
  59. ^ “Boozman, Pryor Split On Violence Against Women Act”. Times Record.
  60. ^ a b “Boozman, Coburn Under Democrat Fire For Opposing Veterans Jobs Bill – News – Times Record – Fort Smith, AR”. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  61. ^ “Boozman, Coburn Under Democrat Fire For Opposing Veterans Jobs Bill”. Times Record.
  62. ^ “Dr. Boozman’s Check-up”. U.S. Senator John Boozman.
  63. ^ Inhofe, James. “Senator”. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  64. ^ McCarthy, Tom; Gambino, Lauren (June 1, 2017). “The Republicans who urged Trump to pull out of Paris deal are big oil darlings”. The Guardian. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  65. ^ “John Boozman on Environment”. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  66. ^ “Boozman Statement on Withdrawal From Paris Agreement”. U.S. Senator John Boozman.
  67. ^ “Cosponsors – S.720 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Israel Anti-Boycott Act”. 23 March 2017.
  68. ^ Levitz, Eric (2017-07-19). “43 Senators Want to Make It a Federal Crime to Boycott Israeli Settlements”. Intelligencer.
  69. ^ Carney, Jordain (January 15, 2019). “Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions”. The Hill.
  70. ^ “Which senators supported a Jan. 6 Capitol riot commission”. Washington Post. May 28, 2021.
  71. ^ “The 2010 Results Maps”. Politico.Com. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  72. ^ “Arkansas Secretary of State”. November 29, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  73. ^ “Preferential Primary and Nonpartisan General Election official Results”. Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  74. ^ “2016 General Election and Nonpartisan Runoff Election Unofficial County Results”. Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  75. ^ a b “Boozman Biography : U.S. Congressman John Boozman : 3rd District Of Arkansas”. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  76. ^ Heil, Emily (16 January 2011). “Cathy Boozman Seeks to Unite GOP Spouses”. Roll Call. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  77. ^ Gatling, Paul (2014-04-22). “John Boozman Undergoes Emergency Heart Surgery”. Archived from the original on 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  78. ^ “Sen. Boozman recovering from heart surgery”. Talk Business & Politics. August 16, 2017.
  79. ^ “Encyclopedia of Arkansas”. Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  80. ^ a b “Arkansas – Health Department director Fay Boozman dies in accident on Rogers farm”. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  81. ^ “John Boozman – Net Worth – Personal Finances”. Retrieved 15 October 2021.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas’s 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by

Party political offices
Preceded by

Republican nominee for U.S. senator from Arkansas
(Class 3)

2010, 2016
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by

United States senator (Class 3) from Arkansas
Served alongside: Mark Pryor, Tom Cotton
Preceded by

Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States senators by seniority
Succeeded by


Source: Government page


  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Agricultural Research, and Specialty Crops
  • Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
  • Committee on Environment and Public Works
    • Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
    • Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


Sponsored and Cosponsored



Tom CottonTom Cotton – AR

Current Position: US Senator since 2017
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): US Representative

Featured Quote: 
The Democrats’ reckless tax and spending scheme was bad enough, but now they want to include amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

Featured Video: 
Tom Cotton says Critical Race Theory encourages RACISM in military

Cotton leads Senate GOP push on Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal
Politico, Burgess EverettSeptember 2, 2021 (Medium)

Senate Republicans are pressing President Joe Biden to account for how many Americans, green card holders and special immigrant visa applicants remain in Afghanistan after the U.S. completed its withdrawal earlier this week.

Led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a group of 26 Republicans wrote Biden on Thursday morning requesting information by next week about who remains in Afghanistan after the frenzied evacuation effort at the end of August.

Senate Republicans are pressing President Joe Biden to account for how many Americans, green card holders and special immigrant visa applicants remain in Afghanistan after the U.S. completed its withdrawal earlier this week.

Led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a group of 26 Republicans wrote Biden on Thursday morning requesting information by next week about who remains in Afghanistan after the frenzied evacuation effort at the end of August.

“Our immediate priority is the safety and well-being of American citizens, permanent residents, and allies who were left behind in Afghanistan. We are also concerned by reports that ineligible individuals, including Afghans with ties to terrorist organizations or serious, violent criminals, were evacuated alongside innocent refugee families,” the senators write in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO ahead of its release.


Current Position: US Senator since 2017
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): US Representative

Featured Quote: 
The Democrats’ reckless tax and spending scheme was bad enough, but now they want to include amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

Featured Video: 
Tom Cotton says Critical Race Theory encourages RACISM in military


Cotton leads Senate GOP push on Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal
Politico, Burgess EverettSeptember 2, 2021 (Medium)

Senate Republicans are pressing President Joe Biden to account for how many Americans, green card holders and special immigrant visa applicants remain in Afghanistan after the U.S. completed its withdrawal earlier this week.

Led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a group of 26 Republicans wrote Biden on Thursday morning requesting information by next week about who remains in Afghanistan after the frenzied evacuation effort at the end of August.

Senate Republicans are pressing President Joe Biden to account for how many Americans, green card holders and special immigrant visa applicants remain in Afghanistan after the U.S. completed its withdrawal earlier this week.

Led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a group of 26 Republicans wrote Biden on Thursday morning requesting information by next week about who remains in Afghanistan after the frenzied evacuation effort at the end of August.

“Our immediate priority is the safety and well-being of American citizens, permanent residents, and allies who were left behind in Afghanistan. We are also concerned by reports that ineligible individuals, including Afghans with ties to terrorist organizations or serious, violent criminals, were evacuated alongside innocent refugee families,” the senators write in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO ahead of its release.



Tom Cotton 1

Source: Government page

Tom Cotton is a United States Senator from Arkansas. Tom’s committees include the Banking Committee, where he chairs the Economic Policy Subcommittee, the Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Air Land Power Subcommittee.

Tom grew up on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. He graduated from Dardanelle High School, Harvard, and Harvard Law School. After a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals and private law practice, Tom left the law because of the September 11th attacks. Tom served nearly five years on active duty in the United States Army as an Infantry Officer.

Tom served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours, Tom served with The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Tom’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.

Between the Army and the Senate, Tom worked for McKinsey & Co. and served one term in the House of Representatives.

Tom and his wife Anna have two sons, Gabriel and Daniel.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills


Work Experience

  • United States Army Officer
    United States Army
    2005 to 2008
  • Management Consultant
    McKinsey & Co
    2010 to 2011
  • U.S. Representative
    2013 to 2015

    Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District



Birth Year: 1977
Place of Birth: Dardanelle, AR
Gender: Male
Race(s): Caucasian
Religion: Christian
Spouse: Gretchen Marie Reimer
Children: Alex, Josette, and Grayson




Washington D.C. Office
326 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353

Springdale Office
1108 South Old Missouri Road
Suite B
Springdale, AR 72764
Phone: (479) 751-0879
Fax: (479) 927-1092


Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr


Source: none

Campaign Finance

Open Secrets – We Follow the Money

Voting Record

VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings



Wikipedia Entry

Thomas Bryant Cotton (born May 13, 1977) is an American politician and attorney serving as the junior United States senator for Arkansas since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2015.

After graduating from Harvard College in 1998 and Harvard Law School in 2002, Cotton worked as a federal clerk for a year and as an associate at two Washington, D.C., law firms before enlisting in the U.S. Army in January 2005. He was commissioned as an infantry officer in June and rose to the rank of captain before being honorably discharged in 2009. He served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Fort Myer (Arlington, Virginia), and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Cotton 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 and education

Thomas Bryant Cotton was born on May 13, 1977, in Dardanelle, Arkansas.[1] His 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.[2] Cotton’s family had lived in rural Arkansas for seven generations, and he grew up on his family’s cattle farm.[3][4] 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.[4][5]

Cotton was accepted to Harvard College after graduating from high school in 1995. At Harvard, he majored in government and was a member of the editorial board of The Harvard Crimson, often dissenting from the liberal majority.[5] In articles, Cotton addressed what he saw as “sacred cows” such as affirmative action.[6] 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.[4]

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.[4] He graduated with a J.D. degree in 2002.[7]


After graduating from Harvard Law School, Cotton spent one year as a law clerk for Judge Jerry Edwin Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He then went into private practice as an associate at law firms Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Cooper & Kirk[8] in Washington, D.C., until he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005.[9]

Following his active duty service, Cotton went to work for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company before running for Congress in Arkansas’s 4th congressional district when Democratic incumbent Mike Ross announced in 2011 that he would not seek reelection.[4][10][11]

Military service

On January 11, 2005, Cotton enlisted in the United States Army.[12] He entered Officer Candidate School (OCS) in March 2005 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June.[13] He completed the U.S. Army Ranger Course,[14][15] a 62-day small unit tactics and leadership program that earned him the Ranger tab, and Airborne School to earn the Parachutist Badge.[13]

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.[13]

In December 2006 Cotton was promoted to first lieutenant and reassigned to the 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, as a platoon leader.[16]

From October 2008 to July 2009,[citation needed] 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.[13]

Cotton was honorably discharged in September 2009. During his time in the service, he completed two combat deployments overseas, was awarded a Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals, a Combat Infantryman Badge, a Ranger tab, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and an Iraq Campaign Medal.[13] In July 2010, Cotton entered the Army Reserve (USAR). He was discharged in May 2013.[17]

2006 letter to The New York Times

In June 2006, while stationed in Iraq, Cotton gained 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 Times did not publish Cotton’s letter, but it was published on Power Line, a conservative blog that had been copied on the email.[18][19] 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.[20] 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.”[20]

Army Ranger controversy

In 2021, Salon reported that Cotton falsely claimed in campaign ads and videos from 2011 to 2014 that he had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned a Bronze Star as a U.S. Army Ranger even though he did not serve in the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment.[15][21][22][23] Fact-checking site Snopes rated Salon’s reporting as true.[24] In response to the article, Democratic congressman Jason Crow, who served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, criticized Cotton for calling himself a Ranger. A spokesperson for Cotton said, “To be clear, as he’s stated many times, Senator Cotton graduated from Ranger School, earned the Ranger Tab, and served a combat tour with the 101st Airborne, not the 75th Ranger Regiment.”[25] As the Salon story garnered widespread attention, Cotton’s spokeswoman recommended that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette talk to retired command sergeant major Rick Merritt, a former regimental sergeant major of the 75th Ranger Regiment, who said that Cotton is “100% a Ranger. He will always be a Ranger. It’s unfair. It’s almost slanderous.”[23]

In an article on the controversy, Business Insider wrote, “[w]hile the distinction [between being a “Ranger” and attending Ranger School] is rarely brought up outside of military circles, it has been fiercely debated among veterans and encapsulates the nuances of military titles.”[26]

Cotton dismissed allegations of falsifying his military record as politically driven. “I graduated from the Ranger School, I wore the Ranger tab in combat with the 101st Airborne in Iraq. This is not about my military record. This is about my politics.”[27]

Political career

Shortly after Cotton’s Afghanistan deployment ended, he was introduced to Chris Chocola, a former congressman and the president of Club for Growth, a Republican political action committee that became one of Cotton’s top contributors.[4] Cotton considered a run against incumbent Democratic U.S. senator Blanche Lincoln in 2010 but declined due to lack of donors and believing it was premature.[5][28] After the retirement announcement of Democratic incumbent Mike Ross in 2011, Cotton ran for Congress in Arkansas’s 4th congressional district.[10][11]

U.S. House of Representatives



Cotton participating in a 2012 congressional debate at Southern Arkansas University

In September 2011, Arkansas Times editor Max Brantley, criticized Cotton for a 1998 article he wrote in The Harvard Crimson in which he questioned the internet’s value as a teaching tool in the classroom, saying the internet had “too many temptations” to be useful in schools and libraries. Cotton later said the internet had matured since he wrote the article.[29][30]

Beth Anne Rankin, the 2010 Republican nominee, and John David Cowart, who was backed by Louisiana businessman and philanthropist , were the only other Republican candidates in the race after Marcus Richmond dropped out in February 2012.[5] In the May 22 primary, Cotton won the Republican nomination with 57.6% of the vote; Rankin finished second with 37.1%.[31]

The Club for Growth endorsed Cotton.[32] Of the $2.2 million Cotton raised for his campaign, Club for Growth donors accounted for $315,000 and were his largest supporters.[4] Senator John McCain also endorsed him.[33] Cotton was supported by both the Tea Party movement and the Republican establishment.[34][35]

In the November 6 general election, Cotton defeated state senator Gene Jeffress, 59.5% to 36.7%.[31] He 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.[36] On January 3, 2013, Cotton was sworn into the House of Representatives by Speaker John Boehner.[37]


As a freshman, Cotton 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.[38] Cotton voted against the 2013 Farm Bill over concerns about waste and fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, voting later that month to strip funding from that program.[39] He also voted against the revised measure, the Agricultural Act of 2014,[40] which expanded crop insurance and a price floor for rice farmers.[41][42]

Cotton accused Obama of presenting a “false choice” between the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and war. Cotton was also criticized in some media outlets for underestimating what successful military action against Iran would entail.[43] Cotton said, “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 Clinton’s actions in 1998 during the Bombing of Iraq, 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.”[43][44] 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 JCPOA. Obama administration officials acknowledged the existence of agreements between Iran and the IAEA on the inspection of sensitive military sites, but denied that they were “secret side deals,” calling them standard practice in crafting arms-control pacts and saying the administration had provided information about them to Congress.[45][46]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate



Senator Jon Kyl and Cotton speaking at the Hudson Institute

Senator Cotton and former ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

U.S. secretary of defense Ash Carter and senators Joni Ernst, Daniel Sullivan, John McCain, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, and Cory Gardner attending the 2016 International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit in Singapore

On August 6, 2013, Cotton announced he would challenge Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor for his seat in the United States Senate.[47] Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call called Pryor the most vulnerable senator seeking reelection that year.[48] Cotton was endorsed by the conservative Club for Growth PAC,[49][50][51] Senator Marco Rubio,[52] the National Federation of Independent Business,[53] and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who campaigned for Cotton.[54][55] The Associated Press called the race for Cotton immediately after the polls closed;[56] he received 56.5% of the vote to Pryor’s 39.4%.[57] Cotton was sworn into office on January 6, 2015.[58]

As a 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 in the fax header.[59]

In October 2019, local authorities charged James Powell, a 43-year-old Arkansas resident, with “first-degree terroristic threatening” after an investigation by U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI. The felony charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. Powell also threatened Arkansas Representative Rick Crawford with death.[60][61] In January 2020, 78-year-old Henry Edward Goodloe was sentenced to two years’ probation for sending Cotton a threatening letter and a package containing white powder. 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.[62]


Cassandra Butts nomination

In February 2015, Obama renominated Cassandra Butts, a former White House lawyer, to be the United States ambassador to the Bahamas. Her nomination was blocked by several senators. First, Ted Cruz placed a blanket hold on all U.S. State Department nominees.[63] Cotton specifically blocked the nominations of Butts and ambassador nominees to Sweden and Norway after the Secret Service 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.[63]

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 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.[63]

Trump administration

Tom Cotton (left) with President Donald Trump and Senator David Perdue (right)

During Trump’s presidency, Cotton was characterized as a Trump loyalist.[64][65] He frequently met with Trump’s staff during the transition period, and according to Steve Bannon, suggested John F. Kelly as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.[9] 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.[9]

In a CNN interview shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Cotton denied that waterboarding is a form of torture. He said “tough calls” such as allowing it were an option Trump was ready to take: “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 resume the use of waterboarding.[66]

In September 2020, Trump shortlisted Cotton as a potential Supreme Court nominee, but ultimately chose Amy Coney Barrett instead.[67][68] With less than two months to the next presidential election, Cotton supported an immediate Senate vote on Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s death. In March 2016, Cotton refused to consider 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 makeup of the Supreme Court?”[69]

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.[70]

Committee assignments

Senator Cotton visits Air Defenders at Osan Air Base during his three-country tour to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan





Domestic policy positions

Cotton is considered politically conservative. The American Conservative Union’s Center for Legislative Accountability gives him a lifetime rating of 86.06.[73]

Race relations

Senator Cotton at First in the Nation Townhall, New Hampshire

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.”[74]

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”.[75] 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.”[75]

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.”[76] 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 responded 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”.[77] The bill passed 87–12 on December 18, 2018. Cotton voted against it.[78]

Tom Cotton and Brett Kavanaugh in August 2018

Black Lives Matter

Following the murder of George Floyd, Cotton rejected the view that there is “systemic racism in the criminal justice system in America“.[79] Amid the ensuing protests, Cotton advocated on Twitter that the military be used to support police, and to give “No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.”[80] 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 using the phrase.[81][82]

A few days later, The New York Times published an opinion piece by Cotton titled “Send in the Troops”, arguing for the deployment of federal troops to counter looting and rioting in major American cities. Dozens of Times staff members sharply criticized the decision to publish Cotton’s article, calling its rhetoric dangerous.[83][84] Following the negative response from staffers, the Times responded by saying the piece went through a “rushed editorial process” that would be reexamined.[85] Editorial page editor James Bennet resigned days later.[86]

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.[87][88][89] In an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Cotton said of 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.”[90] 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”.[91]

1619 Project director Nikole Hannah-Jones 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”.[92] Georgetown University historian Adam Rothman said Cotton’s phrase is “really a kind of shorthand way of describing the complex set of attitudes of the founding generation and it’s not really accurate.”[93] “Of course slavery is an evil institution in all its forms, at all times in America’s past, or around the world today,” Cotton said on Fox News on July 27.[93]

COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

Cotton was one of six Republican senators to vote against advancing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which would allow the U.S. Justice Department to review hate crimes related to COVID-19 and establish an online database.[94][95]

Gun laws

Cotton has an A rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which endorsed him in the 2014 election. The NRA’s Chris W. Cox said, “Tom Cotton will always stand up for the values and freedoms of Arkansas gun owners and sportsmen.”[96] In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Cotton said that he did not believe any new gun control legislation would have prevented the shooting.[97]

In January 2019, Cotton was one of 31 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.[98]


Cotton opposes amnesty or a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.[99]

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.[100] Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan spoke at one podium arguing for its passage;[101] Cotton spoke at another arguing against it, even exchanging terse comments with Speaker Boehner.[100] The House decided to not consider the bill.[101] Cotton supported Trump’s 2017 Executive Order 13769 prohibiting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.[102]

On February 7, 2017, in the presence of President Trump, Cotton and Senator David Perdue proposed a new immigration bill, 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 and John McCain expressed opposition to the bill.[103][104]

Cotton, a supporter of Trump on immigration, was present at a January 11, 2018, meeting at which Trump is alleged to have called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.”[105][106] Cotton and Senator David Perdue said in a joint statement that “we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically”.[107][108] In a statement, the White House did not deny that Trump had made the comment, although Trump did in a tweet the following day.[105] The Washington Post reported that Cotton and Perdue told the White House they heard “shithouse” rather than “shithole”.[109] Cotton reiterated on CBS’s Face The Nation, “I certainly didn’t hear what Senator Durbin has said repeatedly”. “Senator Durbin has a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings, though, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by that”, Cotton added.[110] Slate magazine asserted that Cotton was referring to a misquotation Dick Durbin 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.[106][111]

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.[112] 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.[113] The bipartisan bill had passed the House of Representatives on November 28, 2018, and had also received the backing of the Trump administration. Because of Cotton’s hold, it did not reach the Senate floor for consideration.[114]

Cotton’s immigration positions have led to protests at his Washington office. In January 2018, five demonstrators were arrested for obstructing his office while they were protesting his position on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They were released after paying a $50 fine.[115]

In February 2021, in a speech at CPAC, Cotton criticized the Democrats’ and Joe Biden’s immigration policies. Cotton claimed, “They have halted deportations for all illegal aliens. Murderers, rapists, terrorists, MS-13 gang members are not being deported.” PolitiFact rated Cotton’s claim as “False” and elaborated that the “Biden’s administration ordered a 100-day deportation pause, but it did not apply to criminals such as murderers, rapists, terrorists or gang members.”[116]

In September 2021, Cotton sought to curtail assistance to Afghan refugees after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, and to hinder the refugees’ ability to obtain federally recognized identification cards.[117]

Health and social issues

Cotton opposes the Affordable Care Act, saying in 2012 that “the first step is to repeal that law, which is offensive to a free society and a free people”.[118][119]

In April 2019, Cotton called the Southern Poverty Law Center a “political hate group” and asked the IRS to check whether it should retain its tax-exempt status.[120]

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.”[121] In 2013, Cotton voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, saying that the federal powers in the act were too broad.[121][122]

Abortion and related issues

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.[123] He has said that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were “wrongly decided as a constitutional matter” and that the legality of abortion should up to politicians in the individual states.[124][125] He was one of 183 co-sponsors of the version of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act introduced in 2013.[126]

Cotton has said, “I oppose the destruction of human embryos to conduct stem-cell research and all forms of human cloning.”[127]

Student loans

In August 2013, Cotton voted against the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which sets interest rates on student loans to the 10-year Treasury note plus a varying markup for undergraduate and graduate students. He preferred a solution that ended what he called the “federal-government monopoly on the student-lending business”, referring to the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that changed the way the federal government makes student loans.[128]

National security

On May 28, 2021, Cotton voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack.[129]

Foreign policy positions

US congressional delegation at Halifax International Security Forum 2014

Cotton’s foreign policy views have been characterized as “hawkish“.[130][131]

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 detainees 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”.[9][132] The following June, he was one of 21 Senate Republicans to oppose an amendment to the 2016 Defense Authorization Act that 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.[133][134]

In September 2016, Cotton was one of 34 senators to sign a letter to United States secretary of state John Kerry advocating that the United States use “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.[135]

In July 2017, Cotton voted in favor of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act that grouped together sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.[136]

In July 2017, Cotton co-sponsored the bipartisan 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.[137][138] 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 reassess business activities that may impact Palestinian human rights.[139]

In December 2018, after Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops in Syria, Cotton was one of six senators to sign a letter expressing concern about 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.”[140] In January 2019, Cotton was one of 11 Republican senators to vote to advance legislation intended to block Trump’s intent to lift sanctions against three Russian companies.[141]

In August 2019, it was reported that Cotton had suggested to Trump and the Danish ambassador that the U.S. should buy Greenland.[142][143][144] 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, he asserted that the agreement was outdated and that it favored Russian interests.[145]


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.[146]

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.[147] 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”.[148]

In February 2019, Cotton was one of the group of Senate Republicans who signed a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi requesting that Pelosi invite President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen to address a joint meeting of Congress. The request came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China and was expected to anger Chinese leadership if granted.[149]

In May 2019, when asked about the impact of tariffs on farmers in Arkansas, Cotton said 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 U.S. to fend off against Chinese attempts to displace the U.S. globally.[150]

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.[151]

In July 2019, Cotton and Senator 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 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.[152]

In April 2020, Cotton said that Chinese students in the United States should be restricted to studying the humanities and banned from studying science-related fields. In an interview with Fox News, he said, “It is a scandal to me that we have trained so many of the Chinese Communist Party’s brightest minds.”[153][154]


On January 28, 2020, in the context of the emergence of COVID-19, 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.[155][156][157][158]

In a February 16, 2020, Fox News interview,[159] Cotton said that the coronavirus may have started at the biosafety level 4 super laboratory in Wuhan, China. “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”.[160][161] Articles published by The New York Times and The Washington Post the same day reported that scientists had dismissed claims that the Chinese government created the virus. The Times said this was because of its resemblance to the SARS virus, which originated with bats.[161][160] In another interview on Fox the next day, Cotton said of the two articles, “It tells you the Chinese Communist Party, just like any communist party, has a widespread propaganda effort.”[162] The Post called Cotton’s comments “debunked” and “conspiracy theory” for 15 months until issuing a correction: “The term ‘debunked’ and The Post's use of ‘conspiracy theory’ have been removed because, then as now, there was no determination about the origins of the virus.” Molecular biologist Richard Ebright said The Post had omitted his views supporting the lab leak hypothesis and “materially misrepresented” his views, adding, “Watching ‘the first rough draft of history’ being written as a partisan exercise, rather than a journalistic exercise, was dismaying.”[161][163]

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.”[164] In late April 2020, Cotton said in a Fox News interview that the non-containment of the pandemic was a “deliberate” and “malevolent” attack by Chinese government on the rest of 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.[165][166]


Cotton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July 2018

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.[167][168]

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, that cast doubt on the Obama administration’s authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran. The next president, they asserted, could reject it “with the stroke of a pen”.[169] 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.[170] Within hours, commentators[171][clarification needed] suggested that the letter prepared by Cotton constituted a violation of the Logan Act.[172][173] Questions were also raised about whether it reflected a flawed interpretation of the Treaty Clause of the United States Constitution.[174]

President Obama mocked the letter, calling it an “unusual coalition” with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as well as an interference with the ongoing negotiations of a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.[175] 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.”[176]

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, “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.”[177]

Cotton defended the letter amid criticism that it undermined Obama’s efforts, saying, “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.”[178][179][180] 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.”[181]

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.[182]

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”.[183]

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”.[130] He said there would be a “furious response” by the United States if there was any provocation from Iran.[130]


On March 13, 2018, in an interview on conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt‘s radio show, Cotton said he expected Russian officials to “lie and deny” about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy on British soil.[184] After 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.”[184] He went on to suggest retaliatory measures that the U.K. and the U.S. could implement in response to Russia’s alleged actions, including renewed sanctions on oil.[184]

Personal life

Cotton married attorney Anna Peckham in 2014. They have two children.[185]

Cotton has said that Walter Russell Mead, Robert D. Kaplan, Henry Kissinger, Daniel Silva, C. J. Box,[186] and Jason Matthews are among his favorite authors.[187]

In 2019, Cotton published a book about the role of the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, partly based on his service in that unit as an officer.[188]

Electoral history

Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District House Election, 2012
RepublicanTom Cotton154,14959.53%
DemocraticGene Jeffress95,01336.69%
LibertarianBobby Tullis4,9841.92%
GreenJ. Joshua Drake4,8071.86%
Total votes258,953 100.00
United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2014[189]
RepublicanTom Cotton 478,819 56.50% N/A
DemocraticMark Pryor (incumbent)334,17439.43%-40.10%
LibertarianNathan LaFrance17,2102.03%N/A
GreenMark Swaney16,7971.98%-18.49%
Total votes847,505 100.00% N/A
Republican gain from Democratic
United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2020[190]
RepublicanTom Cotton (incumbent) 793,871 66.53% +10.03%
LibertarianRicky Dale Harrington Jr.399,39033.47%+31.44%
Total votes1,193,261 100.0%
Republican hold

Primary elections

Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2012
Republican Tom Cotton 20,899 57.55%
RepublicanBeth Anne Rankin13,46037.07%
RepublicanJohn Cowart1,9535.38%
Total votes36,312 100.0

Military awards

Cotton’s military awards and decorations include:[17]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg  Combat Infantryman Badge
US Army Airborne basic parachutist badge-vector.svg  Parachutist Badge
AirAssault.svg  Air Assault Badge
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger Tab
Combat service identification badge of the 101st Airborne Division.png 101st Airborne Division Combat Service ID Badge
506 Inf Rgt DUI.jpg 506th Infantry Regimental Distinctive Insignia
Bronze Star Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)

Army Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star

Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with two Campaign Stars)

Bronze star

Iraq Campaign Medal (with Campaign Star)

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal

See also


  1. ^ “Tom Cotton”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Lyons, Gene (October 9, 2014). “Tom Cotton wouldn’t be anywhere without government dollars”. Arkansas Times.
  3. ^ “New Arkansas Rep. Cotton Draws Spotlight; 113th Congress Sworn In”. Times Record News. January 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Ball, Molly (September 17, 2014). “The Making of a Conservative Superstar”. The Atlantic. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Bolduc, Brian (October 7, 2011). “G.I. Tom”. National Review.
  6. ^ Levy, Gabrielle (April 16, 2015). “Tom Cotton Takes On the World”. U.S. News & World Report.
  7. ^ “COTTON, Tom”. United States Congress.
  8. ^ Franco, Cheere (April 24, 2016). “HIGH PROFILE: Senator Tom Cotton”. Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Toobin, Jeffrey (November 13, 2017). “Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?”. The New Yorker. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Joseph, Cameron (July 25, 2011). “Rep. Mike Ross to retire”. The Hill.
  11. ^ a b Brantley, Max (July 25, 2011). “U.S. Rep. Mike Ross won’t seek 2012 re-election”. Arkansas Times.
  12. ^ Rogin, Ali (July 18, 2016). “Tom Cotton: Everything You Need to Know”. ABC News.
  13. ^ a b c d e “NATIONAL DEFENSE PAC today announces with extreme pride its endorsement of Congressman Thomas Cotton” (PDF) (Press release). National Defense PAC. October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  14. ^ “Fort Benning | Student Information”. Ranger School Student Information.
  15. ^ a b Sollenberger, Roger (January 23, 2021). “Sen. Tom Cotton campaigned on his “experience as an Army Ranger” — but he didn’t have any”. Salon. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  16. ^ Cotton, Tom (May 31, 2017). “Congress must support Arlington expansion”. Philadelphia Media Network.
  17. ^ a b “Tom Cotton Army Service Record”. MuckRock.
  18. ^ Johnson, Scott (October 23, 2012). “A Fateful Letter to the Editor of the Times”. Power Line.
  19. ^ Leibovich, Mark (April 5, 2015). “Tom Cotton Is Not Mailing It In”. The New York Times Magazine.
  20. ^ a b Baumann, Nick (November 10, 2011). “The GOP Candidate Who Wants Journos Jailed”. Mother Jones. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Sollenberger, Roger (January 31, 2021). “Tom Cotton’s “Army Ranger” dissembling goes back at least eight years”. Salon. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  22. ^ Wade, Peter (January 23, 2021). “Sen. Tom Cotton bragged he is an ‘Army Ranger.’ He Was Not”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Lockwood, Frank E. (January 24, 2021). “Article questions Cotton’s status as Army Ranger”. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Kasprak, Alex (January 24, 2021). “Did Sen. Tom Cotton Falsely Claim To Have Been an ‘Army Ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq’?”. Snopes. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  25. ^ You shouldn’t be calling yourself a Ranger’: Tom Cotton’s military service is under scrutiny from a fellow Army veteran in Congress”. Business Insider. January 23, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  26. ^ Choi, David. This is about my politics’: Tom Cotton says his military record was scrutinized because he’s a ‘conservative veteran. Business Insider. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  27. ^ Leon, Melissa (January 26, 2021). “Sen. Tom Cotton defends military service, says alleged smear is ‘about my politics. Fox News. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Brantley, Max (September 1, 2011). “Tom Cotton learns value of Internet”. Arkansas Times.
  30. ^ Minton, Michelle (September 26, 2016). “Tom Cotton’s Last Minute Anti-Gambling Bill”. Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  31. ^ a b “Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District elections, 2012”. Ballotpedia.
  32. ^ “CLUB FOR GROWTH PAC ENDORSES TOM COTTON FOR CONGRESS” (Press release). Club for Growth. February 14, 2012.
  33. ^ Miller, Joshua (May 3, 2012). “Arkansas: Tom Cotton Gets John McCain Endorsement”. Roll Call.
  34. ^ “Tea Party Express Endorses Tom Cotton in Arkansas” (Press release). Tea Party Express.
  35. ^ Joseph, Cameron (July 31, 2013). “Cotton’s decision to run for Senate gives GOP ‘rock star’ candidate in Arkansas”. The Hill.
  36. ^ Merica, Dan (December 3, 2012). “Freshman’s House office search foreshadows the legislator he might be”. CNN.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ “HR 273 – Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees – Voting Record”. Project Vote Smart.
  39. ^ Huey-Burns, Caitlin (July 16, 2013). “Tom Cotton a Key House Voice on Immigration Reform”. RealClearPolitics.
  40. ^ “House Floor Activities Legislative Day of January 29, 2014”. House of Representatives.
  41. ^ Nixon, Ron (February 4, 2014). “Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers”. The New York Times.(subscription required)
  42. ^ Liberto, Jennifer (February 4, 2014). “Senate passes farm bill”. CNNMoney.
  43. ^ a b Montanaro, Domenico (April 8, 2015). “Tom Cotton: Military Action Against Iran Would Take Only ‘Several Days. NPR.
  44. ^ Kendall Breitman (April 8, 2015). “Sen. Tom Cotton says U.S. could pursue targeted attack on Iran”. POLITICO.
  45. ^ Fabian, Jordan; Wong, Kristina (July 26, 2015). “White House launches Iran side deals counterattack”. The Hill.
  46. ^ Schulberg, Jessica (December 19, 2016). “John Kerry’s Confident The IAEA Can Handle Iran, But Congress Isn’t Buying It”. The Huffington Post.
  47. ^ Condon, Stephanie (August 6, 2013). “Republican Rep. Tom Cotton announces bid to challenge Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark”. CBS News.
  48. ^ Rothenberg, Stuart (June 9, 2014). “Mark Pryor: Still This Cycle’s Most Vulnerable Senator”. Roll Call.
  49. ^ Gentilviso, Chris (August 7, 2013). “Tom Cotton 2014 Senate Run Gets Early Club For Growth Endorsement”. The Huffington Post.
  50. ^ Judis, John (October 16, 2013). “The Shrinking Club for Growth”. The New Republic.
  51. ^ Joseph, Cameron (August 7, 2013). “Club for Growth endorses Tom Cotton, launches ads in Arkansas Senate race”. The Hill.
  52. ^ Strauss, Daniel (September 17, 2013). “Rubio Endorses Rep. Tom Cotton for Senate”. Talking Points Memo.
  53. ^ Urban, Peter (July 1, 2014). “Small-business group endorses Cotton”. Arkansas News.
  54. ^ Ramsey, David (August 21, 2014). “Mitt Romney endorses Tom Cotton”. Arkansas Times.
  55. ^ Brantley, Max (August 20, 2014). “Mitt Romney to campaign for Asa Hutchinson and Tom Cotton; Democrats comment”. Arkansas Times.
  56. ^ Glueck, Katie. “Cotton defeats Pryor in Arkansas”. POLITICO.
  57. ^ ENR Home Page For Google Analytics Retrieved June 28, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  58. ^ 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.
  59. ^ MacFarlane, Scott. “Virginia Man Arrested for Sending Faxes Threatening Trump: Docs”. NBC 4 Washington. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  60. ^ Connolly, Griffin (October 2, 2019). “Arkansas man arrested for death threats against Sen. Tom Cotton, Rep. Rick Crawford”. Roll Call. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  61. ^ “Man jailed in Faulkner Co. accused of threatening Rep. Rick Crawford and Sen. Tom Cotton”. Fox 16. September 30, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  62. ^ “Arkansas man gets probation after mailing powder to senator”. ABC 7. January 15, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  63. ^ a b c Bruni, Frank (June 7, 2016). “An Obama Nominee’s Crushed Hopes”. The New York Times.
  64. ^ “Tom Cotton is campaigning hard, just not for reelection”. AP NEWS. October 26, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  65. ^ Johnson, Eliana; Watkins, Ali. “Cotton cements his rise under Trump”. POLITICO. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  66. ^ Manduley, Christina (November 9, 2016). “Sen. Tom Cotton: Waterboarding isn’t torture”. CNN. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  67. ^ 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.
  68. ^ “Amy Coney Barrett: Trump nominates conservative favourite for Supreme Court”. BBC News. September 27, 2020. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  69. ^ 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.
  70. ^ 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.
  71. ^ “Committee Membership List”. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  72. ^ “U.S. Senate: Committee Assignments of the 117th Congress”.
  73. ^ “Sen. Tom Cotton”. American Conservative Union Foundation. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  74. ^ 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.
  75. ^ a b Gass, Nick (May 19, 2016). “Sen. Tom Cotton: U.S. has ‘under-incarceration problem. Politico. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  76. ^ “Were there no hearings on bipartisan criminal justice bill?”. @politifact. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  77. ^ EVERETT, BURGESS; SCHOR, ELANA. “Cotton wields sex offender report to tank prisons bill”. Politico. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  78. ^ Levin, Marianne. “Senate approves Trump-backed criminal justice overhaul”. Politico. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  79. ^ Alberta, Tim (June 8, 2020). “Is This the Last Stand of the ‘Law and Order’ Republicans?”. Politico. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  80. ^ Carney, Jordain (June 1, 2020). “Cotton: Trump should use Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military to cities”. TheHill. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  81. ^ 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.
  82. ^ Kalmbacher, Colin (June 1, 2020). “Republican Senator Called for ‘No Quarter’ Military Response to ‘Looters.’ Lawyers Note That’s a War Crime”.
  83. ^ Cotton, Tom (June 3, 2020). “Send in the Troops”. The New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  84. ^ 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.
  85. ^ Ellefson, Lindsey (June 4, 2020). “New York Times Says ‘Rushed Editorial Process’ Led to Tom Cotton Op-Ed”. TheWrap. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  86. ^ Luscombe, Richard (June 7, 2020). “New York Times senior editor resigns amid backlash over controversial oped”. The Guardian. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  87. ^ Lockwood, Frank E. (July 26, 2020). “Bill by Sen. Tom Cotton targets curriculum on slavery”. Arkansas Online. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  88. ^ Srikanth, Anagha (July 23, 2020). “Sen. Tom Cotton introduces bill withholding federal funding for schools teaching the 1619 Project”. TheHill. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  89. ^ 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.
  90. ^ Lockwood, Frank E. (July 26, 2020). “Bill by Sen. Tom Cotton targets curriculum on slavery”. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  91. ^ 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.
  92. ^ Bowden, John (July 26, 2020). “Cotton called out for remarks on slavery in criticism of 1619 Project”. The Hill. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  93. ^ a b 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.
  94. ^ Rogers, Alex (April 14, 2021). “Senate advances bill to combat surge of anti-Asian hate crimes”. CNN. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  95. ^ “On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture Re: Motion to Proceed to S. 937)”. United States Senate. April 14, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  96. ^ “NRA Endorses Tom Cotton for U.S. Senate in Arkansas” (Press release). National Rifle Association. September 9, 2014.
  97. ^ Shelbourne, Mallory (October 3, 2017). “Cotton: Las Vegas shooter’s weapon sounded like ‘belt-fed machine gun. The Hill.
  98. ^ “Sens. Cruz, Cornyn file Concealed-Carry Reciprocity Bill”. January 10, 2019.
  99. ^ “Tom Cotton on Immigration”. On the Issues.
  100. ^ a b Costa, Robert (July 15, 2013). “Picking Tom Cotton: On immigration, a freshman speaks for the right flank of the House GOP”. The National Review.
  101. ^ a b Lizza, Ryan (July 20, 2016). “Occupied Territory: The Republican élite struggles over whether to resist Trump or capitulate”. The New Yorker.
  102. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 29, 2017). “Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump’s travel ban; here’s where the rest stand”. The Denver Post.
  103. ^ “A new effort to narrow the route to permanent residency in America”. The Economist. February 16, 2017.
  104. ^ Alvarez, Priscilla (August 21, 2017). “Can a Decades-Old Immigration Proposal Pass Under Trump?”. The Atlantic.
  105. ^ a b Vitali, Ali (January 12, 2018). “Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as ‘shithole’ countries”. NBC News. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  106. ^ a b Saletan, William (January 24, 2018). “Cotton Tales”. Slate. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  107. ^ 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,…”
  108. ^ 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” …”
  109. ^ Dawsey, Josh; Costa, Robert; Parker, Ashley (January 15, 2018). “Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration”. The Washington Post.
  110. ^ Samuels, Brett (January 14, 2018). “Cotton hits Durbin for claims of Trump’s ‘s—hole countries’ comment”. The Hill. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  111. ^ 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.
  112. ^ O’Dowd, Niall (December 21, 2018). “E3 bill dies thanks to Senator Tom Cotton and incredibly, an Irish journalist Neil Munro”. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  113. ^ “What is the E3 visa and what does it mean to the Irish?”. December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  114. ^ “Irish E3 visas face further blow as another senator places hold on bill”. December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  115. ^ Besson, Eric (January 19, 2018). “5 protesters, including Arkansas immigrant, arrested outside Sen. Tom Cotton’s D.C. office”. Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  116. ^ “PolitiFact – Tom Cotton falsely claims Joe Biden halted the deportation of criminals”. PolitiFact. February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  117. ^ “Senate narrowly turns back GOP amendment to curtail assistance to Afghan refugees”. Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  118. ^ “4th District hopefuls split on health care law”. Associated Press. September 26, 2012.
  119. ^ Ramsey, David (April 14, 2014). “How Tom Cotton talks when he talks about Obamacare”. Arkansas Times.
  120. ^ 🖉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.
  121. ^ a b “Tom Cotton on Civil Rights”. On the Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  122. ^ Marcos, Cristina (October 6, 2014). “Woman recounts abuse in Democratic ad criticizing Tom Cotton”. The Hill. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  123. ^ “House Vote 251 – Approves New Abortion Restrictions”. The New York Times.
  124. ^ Frazin, Rachel (May 15, 2019). “GOP senator: Supreme Court abortion cases were ‘wrongly decided as a constitutional matter. TheHill. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  125. ^ 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.
  126. ^ “H.R.217 – Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act”. United States Congress. 2013.
  127. ^ “Tom Cotton on Abortion”. On the Issues. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  128. ^ Robertson, Lori (October 20, 2014). “Student Loan Stretching”. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  129. ^ “Which senators supported a Jan. 6 Capitol riot commission”. Washington Post. May 28, 2021.
  130. ^ a b c Axelrod, Tal (May 14, 2019). “Cotton: US could win war with Iran in ‘two strikes. TheHill. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  131. ^ Willick, Jason (December 9–10, 2017). “A Foreign Policy for ‘Jacksonian America. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 5, 2018. (subscription required)
  132. ^ Mallin, Alexander (February 5, 2015). “Senator Says Gitmo Detainees ‘Can Rot in Hell. ABC News. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  133. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor (June 17, 2015). “These 21 Republicans Voted Against a Torture Ban”. The Atlantic. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  134. ^ Ackerman, Spencer (November 30, 2017). “Interrogators Blast Trump’s ‘Clueless’ CIA Pick Tom Cotton”. The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  135. ^ Kheel, Rebecca (September 19, 2016). “GOP pressures Kerry on Russia’s use of Iranian airbase”. The Hill.
  136. ^ “U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress – 1st Session”. July 27, 2017.
  137. ^ Levitz, Eric (July 19, 2017). “43 Senators Want to Make It a Federal Crime to Boycott Israeli Settlements”. Intelligencer.
  138. ^ “Cosponsors – S.720 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Israel Anti-Boycott Act”. March 23, 2017.
  139. ^ 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.
  140. ^ Axelrod, Tal (December 19, 2018). “Senators call on Trump administration to reconsider Syria withdrawal”. The Hill.
  141. ^ Carney, Jordain (January 15, 2019). “Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions”. The Hill.
  142. ^ 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.
  143. ^ 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.
  144. ^ 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.
  145. ^ “Trump Takes Aim at the ‘Open Skies’ Cold War Treaty With Russia”. Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  146. ^ Derby, Kevin. “Marco Rubio, Catherine Cortez Masto Take Aim at China in New Legislation”. Sunshine State News.
  147. ^ “Chairs Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging Administration to Sanction Chinese Officials Complicit in Xinjiang Abuses”. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).
  148. ^ “China rejects US lawmakers’ sanctions call over Muslim camps”. Associated Press. August 30, 2018.
  149. ^ “Republican U.S. senators want Taiwan president to address Congress”. Reuters. February 7, 2019.
  150. ^ Tillett, Emily (May 13, 2019). “Tom Cotton says sacrifice of Americans paying tariffs is “minimal” compared to those serving overseas”. CBS News.
  151. ^ Ghosh, Nirmal (May 24, 2019). “US Bill reintroduced to deter China in South China, East China seas”. The Straits Times.
  152. ^ Miller, Maggie (July 16, 2019). “Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei”. The Hill.
  153. ^ Re, Gregg (April 26, 2020). “Tom Cotton suggests Chinese students shouldn’t be allowed to study sciences in the US”. Fox News. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  154. ^ Bowden, John (April 26, 2020). “Cotton suggests US shouldn’t give visas to Chinese students to study science”. The Hill.
  155. ^ John McCormack (March 31, 2020). “The Senator who saw the Coronavirus Coming”. National Review.
  156. ^ Tom Cotton. “letter” (PDF).
  157. ^ Natasha Bertrand (March 31, 2020). “From distraction to disaster: How coronavirus crept up on Washington”. Politico. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  158. ^ Matthew Daly. “McConnell: Impeachment ‘Diverted Attention’ From Coronavirus”. U.S. News. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  159. ^ Brewster, Jack (May 10, 2020). “A Timeline of the COVID-19 Wuhan Lab Origin Theory”. Forbes. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  160. ^ a b 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.
  161. ^ a b c 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
  162. ^ 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.
  163. ^ Lockwood, Frank E. (May 30, 2021). “Cotton’s theory on virus origin no longer dismissed”. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
  164. ^ Choi, David (March 12, 2020). “Republican senator: It’s time to hold China ‘accountable’ for the coronavirus”. Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  165. ^ 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.
  166. ^ “Dr. Birx on whether coronavirus pandemic is being politicized”. Fox News. April 25, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2021. But wherever it originated, Maria, we know that the Chinese Communist Party was both criminally negligent and incompetent at first, and then deliberately, deliberately malevolent in the way they responded to this virus, for their own people and the world. … I believe that was a deliberate and conscious choice by the Chinese communist leadership [to keep borders open], because they didn’t want to see their relative power and standing in the world decline because this virus was contained within China.
  167. ^ Waldman, Paul (March 11, 2015). “For Tom Cotton, letter to Iran is anything but a ‘fiasco. The Washington Post.
  168. ^ Carter, Zach (March 17, 2015). “Here’s Why Republicans Love Tom Cotton’s Letter To Iran”. The Huffington Post.
  169. ^ 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.
  170. ^ “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.
  171. ^ Zeitz, Josh (March 12, 2015). “Iran, Tom Cotton and the Bizarre History of the Logan Act”. Politico.
  172. ^ Waldman, Paul (March 9, 2015). “Republicans are beginning to act as though Barack Obama isn’t even the president”. The Washington Post.
  173. ^ 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.
  174. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (March 11, 2015). “Obama, Iranian official slam GOP letter on deal”. CNN.
  175. ^ “Obama mocks Republican letter to Iran over nuclear talks”. BBC News. March 9, 2015.
  176. ^ Lavender, Paige (March 13, 2015). “Obama: ‘I’m Embarrassed’ For Republicans Who Sent Letter To Iran”. The Huffington Post.
  177. ^ Zarif, Javad (March 9, 2015). “Dr. Zarif’s Response to the Letter of US Senators”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Iran).
  178. ^ “Freshman GOP Senator Cotton says no regrets about letter warning Iran about Nuclear Deterrent”. Fox News. March 15, 2015.
  179. ^ “Face the Nation: March 15 Kerry, Cotton, Manchin”. CBS News. March 15, 2015.
  180. ^ Guion, Payton (March 16, 2015). “Tom Cotton, US Senator, apparently does not know the capital of Iran”. The Independent.
  181. ^ “Tom Cotton: I want complete nuclear disarmament”. MSNBC. March 15, 2015.
  182. ^ Lipton, Eric (April 4, 2015). “GOP’s Israel support deepens as political contributions shift”. The New York Times.(subscription required)
  183. ^ Lockwood, Frank E. (July 20, 2018). “U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s bill targets Iran over captives”. Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
  184. ^ a b c Cotton: Russia will ‘lie and deny’ about British spy poisoning. 13 March 2018. The Hill. Retrieved 24 march 2020.
  185. ^ Brantley, Max (March 17, 2014). “Tom Cotton still mum on marriage details”. Arkansas Times.
  186. ^ Dovere, Edward-Isaac. “Tom Cotton has no problem with Donald Trump”. POLITICO.
  187. ^ Takala, Rudy (June 27, 2016). “Tom Cotton: ‘Deterrence, once lost, is very hard to regain. The Washington Examiner.
  188. ^ “For Arlington’s Old Guard, the mission is to honor, and the standard is perfection”. PBS NewsHour. May 27, 2019.
  189. ^ “November 4, 2014 General election and nonpartisan runoff election Official results”. Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  190. ^ “2020 General Election and Nonpartisan Judicial Runoff”. Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 25, 2020.

External links


General information

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas’s 4th congressional district

Succeeded by

Party political offices

Title last held by

Tim Hutchinson

Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Arkansas
(Class 2)

2014, 2020
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by

U.S. senator (Class 2) from Arkansas
Served alongside: John Boozman
Honorary titles
Preceded by

Baby of the Senate
Succeeded by

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States senators by seniority
Succeeded by

Recent Elections

2014 US Senator

Tom Cotton (R)478,81956.5%
Mark Pryor (D)334,17439.5%
Nathan LaFrance (L)17,2102%
Mark Swaney (G)16,7972%

Source: Ballotpedia


COTTON, THOMAS (TOM) has run in 3 races for public office, winning 2 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $26,147,714.


Source: Follow the Money



Senate Committee on Armed Services
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Joint Economic Committee
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence


Strategic Forces
Economic Policy
Housing, Transportation, and Community Development,
Securities, Insurance, and Investment

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation




  • United States Senate Committee on Armed Services[70]
    • United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland (2015–) (Chair, 2015–2021) (2021–)
    • United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities (2015–2017)
    • United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel (2015–2017)
    • United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower (2017–)
    • United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces (2017–)
  • United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2021–)
  • United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (2021–)
  • Joint Economic Committee (2021–)


Sponsored and Cosponsored



Recent Years ‘The Best’ For Small Business

By Trent Ragar, Bentonville

As an entrepreneur for the past 14 years, I’m uniquely qualified to tell you that the recent liberal promises and policies are terrifying to me a s a small business owner. This isn’t your grandfathers Democratic party anymore, folks. I’m a native Arkansan and I can honestly say I’ve seen some of the best of times and the worst of times in this state’s history.

The last three years as a small business owner have been some of the best I can ever remember. Due to a record low unemployment rate in Arkansas of 3.4 percent, my single greatest issue over the past three years has been finding qualified workers. I’ll take that problem any day of the week over issues like open borders, the wacky Green New Deal, increased taxes and strict gun control- all extreme promises Josh Mahoney and his Democrat friends have made in the past two years.

This race is easy to predict and I can assure you the 200,000 small-business owners in Arkansas are to want to join me in supporting Tom Cotton for re-election in 2020.

Debt, Spending Votes Earn Cotton Support

By Melanie Elliott, Cave Springs

I’m an American citizen who is gravely concerned about our national spending and debt. As I review the past few years of bills and acts, nearly all spending increases have passed. Alarmingly, there’s no indication this trend is slowing down. Every person alive today, and those not yet born, are burdened by debt that was passed on from generations before. It is immoral and it should not continue.

In reviewing Sen. Tom Cotton’s voting record since 2015, I’m encouraged to see that the American people can depend on him to vote against spending increases in most cases (15 out of 20 times).

Sen. Cotton’s Democratic opponent is promoting “universal coverage” health care and
“free” two-year community college. Those were just the first two issues he addressed on his website, so what else might he have up his sleeve? More spending, more taxation and more debt for Americans, no doubt.

Let’s encourage Sen. Cotton to keep the American taxpayers debt burden at the top of his mind, and vote accordingly.

Please join me in voting to re-elect Sen. Tom Cotton.


Tom Remembered Our Vets

By Dean McKenndree, Adona

I served for 29 years in three separate war zones, being severely injured in one and wounded in another. I am a 90 percent disabled American veteran, and I am seen at the North Little Rock VA. I know the horror stories of the past VA, but I wanted to write to talk about my recent personal experience.

My wife and I recently lost our 15-year old daughter to an unexpected yet immediate illness, and it was devastating. I decided to call the VA requesting someone to talk to about my loss, and I was given an immediate appointment. I was allowed to discuss my grief and was constantly reassured that I was not alone and that I wasn’t weak for seeking help. I was embarrassed to call, but I am so grateful that I did. I am treated as if I’m the only person to walk through those doors.

Because I’m so grateful for this help, I wanted to write this letter encouraging Arkansans to vote for Sen. Tom Cotton, who has kept his promise to me as a veteran and to my family through VA and military funding. Through a simple fundraiser, Senator Cotton looked me in the eye and promised to not leave our veterans behind, and he’s lived up to that. He’ll have my vote in 2020.

A Principled Leader

By John Cowart, Fouke

You have the daily job of reporting mudslinging politics. It makes me wish officials believed in principles, not partisan politics.

I believe Sen. Tom Cotton is one of those principled leaders. Last year Tom Cotton took heat from Democrats and Republicans for opposing their bill which made it easier for sex offenders to get shorter sentences. When a Justice Department study said the “First Step Act” would make it easier for sex offenders to get shorter sentences, Senator Cotton took a stand even though he had to fight Senators from both parties.

I was in the police academy at Camden on 9/11. Since then, I’ve been a law enforcement officer in Arkansas. It is a morale booster to see people like Tom Cotton protecting citizens first and putting party politics second.

During the Obama administration, Tom Cotton supported federal funding of ALERRT and CRASE training for people to stop school and church shooters. I guess Senator Cotton practices what President Truman preached, that it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.

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