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Sen. Tom Cotton

Senator for Arkansas

pronounced tom // KOT-uhn

Cotton, a Republican, is the junior senator from Arkansas and has served since Jan 6, 2015. Cotton is next up for reelection in 2020.

He was previously the representative for Arkansas’s 4th congressional district (2013-2014).

Photo of Sen. Tom Cotton [R-AR]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2017 Report Card for Cotton.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Cotton is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Cotton has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

Americans for Prosperity: 100% FreedomWorks: 86% The Club for Growth: 82% United States Chamber of Commerce: 77% Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 9% American Civil Liberties Union: 5% League of Conservation Voters: 3% Human Rights Campaign: 0% NIAC Action: F

Committee Membership

Tom Cotton sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Cotton was the primary sponsor of 3 bills that were enacted:

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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Cotton sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

International Affairs (20%) Armed Forces and National Security (20%) Crime and Law Enforcement (13%) Animals (13%) Immigration (10%) Taxation (10%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (7%) Water Resources Development (7%)

Recent Bills

Some of Cotton’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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Voting Record

Key Votes

Cotton’s Vote Vote Description
Yea H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
Nay S. 2012: Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015
Apr 20, 2016. Bill Passed 85/12.
This week, the Senate began debate on the first major energy legislation to be considered since 2007. Introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the bill -- S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act -- received an unlikely overwhelming bipartisan vote when it passed out of ...
Nay H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
Nay H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act
Jul 30, 2015. Bill Passed 65/34.
This vote turned H.R 22, originally the Hire More Heroes Act, into the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647), a major bipartisan transportation bill, and the Export-Import Bank Reform and ...
Yea S. 1177: Every Child Achieves Act of 2015
Jul 16, 2015. Bill Passed 81/17.
The Every Child Achieves Act is a bipartisan educational policy reform bill that would expand state responsibility over schools, provide grants to charter schools, and reduce the federal test-based accountability system of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The bill was referred to the ...
Nay H.R. 83 (113th): Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015
Dec 11, 2014. Passed 219/206.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 [pdf], which was approved by the House on December 11, 2014 and by the Senate on December 13, 2014. The bill was originally introduced on January 3, 2013 by ...
Yea H.R. 4681 (113th): Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
Dec 10, 2014. Passed 325/100.
No H.R. 5771 (113th): Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014
Dec 3, 2014. Passed 378/46.
Aye H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 17, 2014. Passed 319/108.
No H.R. 1947 (113th): Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013
Jun 20, 2013. Failed 195/234.

Missed Votes

From Jan 2015 to Jan 2018, Cotton missed 16 of 837 roll call votes, which is 1.9%. This is on par with the median of 1.3% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. ProPublica has tracked 1 explanation for these missed votes. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: