Tom Cotton

White House Won't Discuss Tillerson's Future Beyond Year's End
Trump 'seems to take step after step to undercut diplomacy,' Sen. Kaine says

Then-Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson arrives for his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing earlier this year. The panel could soon be holding another such hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House that routinely labels as fake any news it does not like is studiously withholding such phraseology when it comes to media reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a short-timer. 

White House officials have developed plans to replace the long-embattled Tillerson, who fell out of favor with the president months ago, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to The New York Times. Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton would move into Pompeo’s position, the news outlet reported, citing senior administration officials.

Report: State’s Tillerson Could Be Replaced by CIA’s Pompeo
Sen. Tom Cotton would move to CIA under reported White House plan

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:44 a.m.| President Donald Trump’s White House has developed plans to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to The New York Times.

Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton would move into Pompeo’s position, the news outlet said citing senior administration officials.

Analysis: New Senate Tax Bill Solves Some Issues, Raises Others
‘This is largely a partisan exercise,’ McConnell tells CEOs

If there were any doubts that Republicans were bent on advancing the tax bill with only GOP support, those were squashed on Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here with Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Cornyn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The latest version of the Senate bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code solves some problems for Republican leadership, but potentially creates a host of others.

The updated chairman’s mark would direct more tax relief to lower- and middle-class Americans through several new provisions, including a proposed reduction in the tax rates for the current seven income brackets. But those cuts would now be temporary and expire in 2026. At the same time, the proposal would make the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent permanent.

While Trump’s Away, Congress Legislates?
President’s absence eases tax bill work, some Republicans say

Some Republican members say progress on a tax bill is more likely with President Donald Trump, here with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, away in Asia. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump spent the first four days of his Asia swing focused on countering North Korea and bolstering trade relationships — and some Republican members who are eager to pass a tax bill are just fine with that.

The way they see it, Trump being nearly 7,000 miles away for most of the next two weeks will allow them to make more progress on their tax legislation than if he were in Washington. That’s because Trump is often hunkered down in the White House watching cable news reports about their efforts, his phone at the ready to fire off a tweet that could substantially delay or completely derail their work.

Immigration Measure Won’t Ride Omnibus, Negotiations Continue
Graham: ‘We’ll see where it goes in the House’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Immigration reform will not be part of this year’s omnibus spending bill, Senate Republicans said Thursday after a meeting at the White House.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers involved in immigration negotiations are trying to find a way to pair citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, with enhanced border security measures.

Trump Position on Individual Mandate in Tax Bill Complicates Task
Cotton plans to nix but key House tax-writer rejected idea Tuesday

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wants to use the tax bill to repeal the 2010 health care law’s individual mandate. Tax-writers are skeptical. But President Trump suddenly endorsed the idea on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump threw congressional Republican tax-writers a curveball Wednesday, suddenly voicing support for using a coming overhaul measure to repeal the 2010 health care law’s individual insurance mandate.

Trump endorsed a provision being pushed by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., with whom he has met several times in recent weeks. Cotton has been working with the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees to include the repeal of the health care law’s individual mandate in a tax overhaul bill. He said if he is unable to convince the leaders of those panels to include it in their tax bills, he will try to attach it as an amendment.

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining
The Pentagon’s deadly accident-filled summer bucked a larger trend

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Hawks in Congress have said military mishaps are up because the defense budget is down, but the data says otherwise.

The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies.

House Appoints Defense Bill Negotiators As Space Corps Fight Looms
F-35 fighter jets will be another point of contention as the chambers confer

The Senate so vigorously opposes the Space Corps proposal that it adopted by unanimous consent an amendment — offered by Sens. Bill Nelson and Tom Cotton, shown here in 2016 — to the Senate NDAA that would block it. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The House on Thursday agreed by unanimous consent to begin negotiations with the Senate on the fiscal 2018 Defense authorization bill. Throughout the coming weeks, a panel of conferees from each chamber will negotiate a final version of the legislation before Congress votes to send the bill to the president.

The House will send to the conference 46 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Eighteen Republicans and 13 Democrats will represent the Armed Services Committee in the negotiations.

New Foreign Surveillance Bill Would Boost Privacy Protections
Top House Judiciary leaders reached decision last week

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and ranking member John Conyers Jr. introduced the so-called USA Liberty Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and the panel’s top Democrat Rep. John Conyers Jr. reached agreement last week on a new bill that would tighten privacy protections in a surveillance law considered vital by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The bill’s attempt to shore up civil liberties runs contrary to what the White House and intelligence agencies have sought, and is likely to face opposition from a group of national security hawks in the Senate who back the Trump administration position.

This Senator Has Gotten Two Audiences with Trump in Four Days
Monday dinner focused on border security, immigration system changes

Sen. Tom Cotton boards a shuttle bus that transported senators to the White House on April 26. Cotton has met with President Donald Trump at the executive mansion twice this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One lawmaker who could be crucial to Donald Trump’s goal of signing an immigration overhaul bill into law met twice with the president at the White House this week. But it wasn’t Speaker Paul D. Ryan or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or the chairmen of the House or Senate Homeland Security or Judiciary committees.

It wasn’t even Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, perhaps the senior-most Republican senator with much at stake from an immigration bill since he represents Texas and its 1,240-mile border with Mexico. Rather, it was the relatively junior GOP senator who hails from thousands of miles from the border: Arkansas’s Tom Cotton.