by Max Brantley
The line is open. I'll have something later from Dardanelle on Republican Rep. Tom Cotton's announcement for U.S. Senate, probably sometime after 7 p.m.
The Democratic Party has already rolled out a punchy one-liner in response, embargoed until he actually speaks. I mean, he could have a change of heart before 5 p.m., right?
But you've already seen it in detail on this Democratic Party-sponsored website. In just seven months, Cotton has voted against women, people who'll depend on Medicare and Social Security, families with sick relatives, farmers, hungry kids and college students. And he thinks that record deserves a promotion.
But, whoa. The Pryor campaign puts some more meat on the bones with a tough, fact-filled release from press secretary Amy Schlessing on Cotton's voting record. And the video above. And a little snark. Pryor needs to play tough because the Republicans certainly will:
Tom Cotton: Wrong for Arkansas
As Tom Cotton abandoned the 4th District for a shot at higher office Tuesday, Sen. Mark Pryor continued fighting for Arkansas, meeting with VA Secretary Shinseki in Fayetteville about VA backlog on disability claims
LITTLE ROCK — Sen. Mark Pryor’s reelection campaign looks forward to highlighting Tom Cotton’s reckless record of voting against the wellbeing of Arkansas families, students, seniors, veterans, farmers and women.
“I don’t know who Mr. Cotton’s been voting for, but it hasn’t been for Arkansas. When you vote against student loans and against the farm bill and you vote to cut medicare and social security, you’re not voting for Arkansas, you’re carrying someone else’s water,” Sen. Mark Pryor said Tuesday.
A video statement is available for download at www.youtube.com/markpryorforsenate
Last week, Cotton joined six other Republicans to vote against a bipartisan student loan compromise that keeps federal student loans affordable and issued a statement against the same student loan program that he used to afford his own education. In June, his vote helped fail the farm bill’s passage, leading the state into the crisis we’re in today with less than two months left to pass a farm bill to avoid reverting to 1949 policy that would have devastating impact on our economy. He has voted against the violence against women act, the payroll fairness act and supported cuts to Social Security and privatizing Medicare which would increase out-of-pocket costs for the hard-working seniors who earned these benefits.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Sen. Pryor spent the day in Fayetteville visiting with veterans and seniors to talk about his efforts to fix the VA backlog and keep Social Security and Medicare strong for our hard-working seniors. Pryor has been at the forefront of the fight to support our nation’s veterans, cosponsoring four bipartisan bills in the last four months addressing the VA backlog, furloughs and wounded warriors.
On Friday, Sen. Pryor filed a bill to ensure full-time National Guardsmen receive the same furlough protection as members of the active duty. Pryor cosponsored a bill last month to improve the often invasive and embarrassing airport screening process for wounded and severely disabled veterans. And in the last three months, Pryor has cosponsored two bills aimed at reducing the VA backlog, one to improve electronic filing ability at the VA and the other cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that has led to the backlog. There are about 8,000 claims backlogged in Arkansas right now. The average wait time for first-time claims is 496 days — six months more than the national average.
“We must keep our promises to those who have given so much for our state and nation,” Pryor said. “Our veterans deserve better.”
S. 1367 Helping Heroes Fly Act - Introduced 7/25/2013 - http://thomas.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:11:./temp/~bdpb4D::
S.1438 Furlough Protection for National Guard Military Technicians - Introduced 8/1/2013 -http://thomas.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:14:./temp/~bdRuhf::
S.674 Accountability for Veterans Act of 2013 - Introduced 4/9/2013 - http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:21:./temp/~bdlmU1::
1148 Veterans Benefits Claims Faster Filing Act - Introduced 6/12/2013 - http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:37:./temp/~bdbzNR::
H.R. 1911 - Student Loan Compromise - Passed the House 7/31/2013 by a 392-31 vote. Cotton was one of six Republicans to vote against it with 221 voting for it.http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll426.xml]
Student loan impact: "In Arkansas, out of $700 million in federal student loans awarded for the 2011-12 academic year, $315 million was awarded in subsidized Stafford loans, which are for moderate-to-low-income students. The federal government reported that 78,895 subsidized Stafford loans were awarded in Arkansas."Higher college loan rate would affect thousands in Arkansas, By John Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau, July 7, 2013.]
H R 1947, the comprehensive, bipartisan Farm Bill, failed to pass the House by a vote of 195-234 on June 20, 2013: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll286.xml]
Arkansas delegation expresses disappointment over House Farm Bill failure: