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Tom Cotton's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (AR) - District 4, Republican
On The Ballot: Running, Republican for U.S. Senate
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Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2014, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Defend Traditional Values. 14 September 2011. "We must re-establish a culture of life in America that reflects the value of every life from conception through birth, life, and death. I am pro-life and I will always vote that way in Congress. I believe Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided. I oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and I will work to repeal ObamaCare and to fully reinstate the Hyde Amendment, which ensures that our tax dollars don't pay for abortion. I also support measures like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act. I oppose the destruction of human embryos to conduct stem-cell research and all forms of human cloning. Finally, I oppose efforts to ration or deny access to health care based on so-called "expert" assessments of one's quality of life, as ObamaCare would do. 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 (DOMA) and I will defend its constitutionality because President Obama has abandoned his duty to do so in federal court"an extreme position rejected not only by President Bush, but also by President Clinton." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Facebook: Timeline. 31 March 2012. "I am grateful to receive the endorsement of The Madison Project, an organization dedicated to promoting pro-life and pro-family issues, promoting limited government, and defending religious freedom. They understand that in this election we need to ensure Congress has strong conservative leaders, not simply conservative votes." (www.facebook.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Video: Tom Cotton. 22 November 2011. "I am pro-life." (youtu.be)
  • Eagle Forum. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Eagle Forum endorsed Tom Cotton in the 2012 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Social Values. 6 June 2012. "I am pro-life and I will always vote that way in Congress." (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Pro-Life. Pro-Marriage. Pro-Family. 6 June 2012. "Tom Cotton is 100% pro-life and believes every life, at every stage, should be defended." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Afghanistan: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: National Security. 6 June 2012. "I volunteered to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I believe those wars are just and necessary. As a veteran, I want to bring our troops home as much as anyone, but I want to bring them home victoriously. I don't believe in exit strategies; I believe in victory strategies. In Congress, I will stand up to President Obama, whose short-sighted and politically motivated decisions threaten the lives and money that America has invested in these wars." votesmart.org/public-statement/671193/issue-position-national-security
No Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: National Security. 6 June 2012. "While we must stay mindful of wasteful spending--often driven by congressional earmarks and politicians' desire for reelection, not by military strategy--we cannot gut the military to pay for failed stimulus plans, ObamaCare, or other liberal programs. In fact, the military has already cut nearly $400 billion under President Obama, including the cancellation of major weapon systems and a dangerous reduction in the number of Marines and Soldiers. These severe cuts have occurred without similar reductions at domestic agencies, which have grown even more bloated under President Obama. As your congressman, I will work to reverse this trend and to ensure that our troops have the equipment and weapons they need to win our wars--or deter them from starting in the first place" votesmart.org/public-statement/671193/issue-position-national-security
No Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Taxes. 6 June 2012. "Our taxes are too high and too complicated. [¦] I will fight to stop the many tax increases looming over our economy. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire after 2012, but I will vote to extend these tax cuts permanently. I will also vote to repeal ObamaCare and its $500 billion in tax increases. And I will stand up to President Obama's obsession with raising taxes on small businesses and entrepreneurs--the very people America needs most to help create jobs and grow the economy." (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Video: Tom Cotton. 22 November 2011. "I am going to support lower taxes, less spending, smarter regulation." (youtu.be)
  • Tom Cotton signed Americans for Tax Reform: Federal Taxpayer Protection Pledge. "I, Tom Cotton, pledge to the taxpayers of the 4th district of the state of Arkansas and to the American people that I will: One, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and Two, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. (s3.amazonaws.com)
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Facebook: Timeline. 12 June 2012. "President Obama not only said that the private sector is 'doing fine,' but that the public sector needs more help from the federal government, i.e. more spending. Please LIKE this if you think that the president's vision for America is not what we want in 2012." (www.facebook.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Facebook: Timeline. 12 June 2012. "President Obama not only said that the private sector is "doing fine," but that the public sector needs more help from the federal government, i.e. more spending. Please LIKE this if you think that the president's vision for America is not what we want in 2012." (www.facebook.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Facebook: Timeline. 27 January 2012. "Blistering account of the president's economic decisions & the failure of the stimulus. The president will spend nearly $800 billion of taxpayer funds in stimulus funding to "create" jobs and boost the economy, but it never worked as promised. However, the president won't allow the private market to spend $7 billion on a sure thing: the Keystone XL pipeline. LIKE this if you're baffled by this administration's policies and ready for a change." (www.facebook.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Promote Job Creation. 1 January 2012. "In Congress, I will support pro-growth policies that give the private sector the confidence and certainty to start hiring again. Politicians may work on a 24-hour-news cycle, but businesses operate on a multiyear planning cycle. Job creators need a tax code that is permanent, fair, and simple with low rates. They need federal bureaucrats to get off their backs and stand by their sides." (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Reduce and Simply Taxes. 1 January 2012. "Our taxes are too high and too complicated. The individual and corporate tax codes distort the financial decisions of individuals and businesses, leading them to base spending, investment, and saving on tax considerations, not economic benefits. I will work in Congress to reduce our taxes and simplify our tax code to return power from Washington to taxpayers [¦] I will stand up to President Obama's obsession with raising taxes on small businesses and entrepreneurs--the very people America needs most to help create jobs and grow the economy." (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Taxes. 7 July 2012. "I will also work for fundamental tax reform of our individual and corporate tax codes. One reason our tax rates are so high is the countless special-interest carve-outs and loopholes that reduce the overall tax base, which are offset by higher rates. These complicated deductions primarily benefit the richest individuals and businesses, which have the ability to take advantage of them. By eliminating these loopholes, we can lower tax rates, reduce tax-compliance costs, make the tax code fairer and more competitive, and ignite economic growth and job creation. A growing economy will produce more tax revenue under the lower rates than our current complicated system, just as happened after President Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Education. 6 June 2012. "In Congress, I will work to empower parents with better information and more options to make the right choices for their children's education and I will work to restore local control over our educational system. [¦] Washington should not dictate choices to either parents or local school systems. Though No Child Left Behind was well-intended, it wrongly imposed a top-down, one-size-fits-all system of accountability and unfunded mandates. Federal education policy should encourage communities and states to develop their own curricula, tests, and standards, while promoting transparency and providing information needed to empower parents, students, and educators." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Energy. 6 June 2012. "We must open federal lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to more exploration and production. The oil-and-gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, and federal public lands in the West and Alaska are a tremendous untapped source of economic growth." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Energy. 6 June 2012. "I strongly oppose all forms of a "cap and trade" schemes, which are nothing more than a massive new tax on energy. Cap and trade would handcuff our economy and make America less competitive in the world, because emerging markets like China and India will never adopt such a destructive tax. Manufacturers will move to those countries, which will also cost American jobs. I will fight tirelessly against cap and trade, both in Congress and against the EPA's abusive use of the Clean Air Act to implement cap and trade unilaterally." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Gun Owners of America. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Gun Owners of America endorsed Tom Cotton in the 2012 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Uphold the Second Amendment. September 14, 2011. "I will always defend our Second Amendment rights in Congress. As a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, my soldiers and I kept our rifles and guns within arms' reach because of a fundamental truth: at critical moments, your life depends on being armed and ready to defend yourself. And I know our founders gave all law-abiding citizens the same rights here at home. As a hunter, gun owner, and NRA member, I understand how central the outdoorsman way of life is to Arkansas's culture and tradition. I applaud the Supreme Court's decisions in Heller and McDonald that the Second Amendment means what it says: every American has an individual right to keep and bear arms and that right is enforceable against the government. I will work in Congress to pass legislation to protect this cherished right. I support the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, which would require each state to recognize valid weapon-carrying permits from other states. I would also vote to repeal the federal law prohibiting 18-20-year-olds from purchasing handguns. If young adults are old enough to fight and die for their country and vote for their representatives, they are old enough to exercise their Second Amendment rights. I also will defend gun owners' rights when they are lawfully using federal lands and waterways. And I will always fight outrageous United Nations' efforts to undermine Americans' Second Amendment rights." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Facebook: Timeline. 15 May 2012. "I signed the Repeal Pledge today. ObamaCare is a job-killer, a health-care disaster, and an assault on liberty. Click here to see the full list of candidates and leaders who signed the pledge." (www.facebook.com)
  • Tom Cotton. 18 June 2012. Facebook: Timeline. "With the Supreme Court's decision expected very soon, it's time to reexamine why we need to get rid of ObamaCare..." (www.facebook.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Facebook: Timeline. 15 May 2012. "I signed the Repeal Pledge today. ObamaCare is a job-killer, a health-care disaster, and an assault on liberty. Click here to see the full list of candidates and leaders who signed the pledge [...]" (www.facebook.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Video: Tom Cotton Primary Victory Speech. 22 May 2012. "We will repeal Obamacare." (youtu.be)
  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Health Care. 6 June 2012. "ObamaCare is a job-killer, a health-care disaster, and an assault on liberty. I will fight to repeal and replace ObamaCare with free-market reforms that empower patients and doctors to make health-care decisions." (votesmart.org)
  • Joshua Miller. Roll Call: Tom Cotton Ready To Make His Mark. 6 June 2012. "In an interview Friday, Cotton said his campaign rhetoric won't change now that he's in the general election. 'Fighting to repeal Obamacare, to reform our tax code and lower our tax rates, to get the debt crisis under control and finally confront it and to keep America strong in the world and safe at home,' he said when asked the reasons he is running." (www.rollcall.com)
  • Tom Cotton signed Independent Women's Voice: Obamacare Repeal Pledge. "I pledge, if elected, to vote for all bills which seek to REPEAL the health care bill, HR 3590, signed into law on March 23, 2010." (www.therepealpledge.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Secure the Border and Enforce Immigration Laws. September 14, 2011. "America is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of laws. Our federal government is failing at a core duty: protecting our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. In Congress, I will oppose amnesty in all forms, fight to secure our borders, and improve enforcement of the immigration laws. We cannot afford to grant illegal aliens amnesty or a so-called 'earned path to citizenship.' Amnesty would cost billions of dollars that our government cannot afford. Also, amnesty would attract millions of new illegal aliens, just as the 1986 amnesty did, by advertising to the world that America lacks the political will to enforce its borders. Finally, amnesty is unjust and immoral because it favors those who broke our laws over those standing in line at embassies hoping to immigrate legally"exactly the kind of immigrants we should want. We must secure our borders now; with ruthless drug cartels controlling swaths of Mexico and collaborating with our enemies to attack American soil, we cannot wait. Most important, we must complete the border fence. Fences work"they worked in San Diego and Israel, and they will work on our border. In addition, I will work to provide more border agents and needed resources for Customs and Border Protection. We need boots on the ground and advanced technologies to help reinforce the border fence. Also, we must improve enforcement of our country's immigration laws. I will oppose all efforts to provide in-state tuition, driver licenses, and social-welfare benefits to illegal aliens. Unlike President Obama, who attacks states for trying to solve his administration's failures, I will help states to enforce our laws and support reimbursement of them for doing so. I will also vote to deny federal funds to so-called "sanctuary cities" that try to block enforcement of our immigration laws." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
  • Tom Cotton. National Review: G.I. Tom. "He opposes amnesty: "We can just say if you ever want to be secure in your status, you have to go home and apply for citizenship from there." (www.nationalreview.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Immigration. 6 June 2012. "I will oppose amnesty in all forms, fight to secure our borders, and improve enforcement of the immigration laws. We cannot afford to grant illegal aliens amnesty or a so-called 'earned path to citizenship.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Secure the Border and Enforce Immigration Laws. September 14, 2011. "America is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of laws. Our federal government is failing at a core duty: protecting our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. In Congress, I will oppose amnesty in all forms, fight to secure our borders, and improve enforcement of the immigration laws. We cannot afford to grant illegal aliens amnesty or a so-called "earned path to citizenship." Amnesty would cost billions of dollars that our government cannot afford. Also, amnesty would attract millions of new illegal aliens, just as the 1986 amnesty did, by advertising to the world that America lacks the political will to enforce its borders. Finally, amnesty is unjust and immoral because it favors those who broke our laws over those standing in line at embassies hoping to immigrate legally"exactly the kind of immigrants we should want. We must secure our borders now; with ruthless drug cartels controlling swaths of Mexico and collaborating with our enemies to attack American soil, we cannot wait. Most important, we must complete the border fence. Fences work"they worked in San Diego and Israel, and they will work on our border. In addition, I will work to provide more border agents and needed resources for Customs and Border Protection. We need boots on the ground and advanced technologies to help reinforce the border fence. Also, we must improve enforcement of our country's immigration laws. I will oppose all efforts to provide in-state tuition, driver licenses, and social-welfare benefits to illegal aliens. Unlike President Obama, who attacks states for trying to solve his administration's failures, I will help states to enforce our laws and support reimbursement of them for doing so. I will also vote to deny federal funds to so-called "sanctuary cities" that try to block enforcement of our immigration laws. And I will work to improve the E-verify system so employers can instantly check the immigration status of all job applicants." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Defend Traditional Values. 14 September 2011. "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 (DOMA) and I will defend its constitutionality because President Obama has abandoned his duty to do so in federal court"an extreme position rejected not only by President Bush, but also by President Clinton." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
  • Tom Cotton. Pro-Life. Pro-Marriage. Pro-Family. 6 June 2012. "Tom will uphold the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
  • Eagle Forum. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Eagle Forum endorsed Tom Cotton in the 2012 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: Social Values. 6 June 2012. "Strong families also depend on strong marriages, and I support the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman." (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Cotton. Defend Traditional Values. 14 September 2011. "We must re-establish a culture of life in America that reflects the value of every life from conception through birth, life, and death. I am pro-life and I will always vote that way in Congress. I believe Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided. I oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and I will work to repeal ObamaCare and to fully reinstate the Hyde Amendment, which ensures that our tax dollars don't pay for abortion. I also support measures like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act. I oppose the destruction of human embryos to conduct stem-cell research and all forms of human cloning. Finally, I oppose efforts to ration or deny access to health care based on so-called "expert" assessments of one's quality of life, as ObamaCare would do. 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 (DOMA) and I will defend its constitutionality because President Obama has abandoned his duty to do so in federal court"an extreme position rejected not only by President Bush, but also by President Clinton." (www.cottonforcongress.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Tom Cotton. Issue Position: National Security. 12 July 2012. "I strongly support the many critical fronts in our global war against Islamic terrorists. We must continue to track and monitor our enemies through terrorist-surveillance programs. We should target these terrorists aggressively through the use of drone technology wherever possible. We should employ our special-operations forces and intelligence professionals where feasible. When we capture terrorists, they should go to Guantanamo Bay for vigorous interrogation--not to a civilian court in America. And we must stop the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical technology, because the world's most dangerous men cannot be allowed to obtain the world's most dangerous weapons." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Key

Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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