The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out the following news release this morning titled "Tom Cotton and His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Agenda":
Washington insider Tom Cotton (AR-04) has already proposed a disastrous plan for Arkansas families: massive cuts to Medicare that will cause seniors to pay more in health coverage while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and companies that ship jobs overseas, raising the retirement age, resetting to the failed economic policies of the past, and destroying President Bill Clinton's Children's Health Insurance Program. Cotton has made clear that he prefers the extreme Republican Study Committee budget plan that makes deep cuts to Medicare, cuts Social Security, and slashes health care benefits for over 500,000 Arkansas children.
In addition, Washington insider Tom Cotton has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in earmarked contributions from the out-of-touch, right-wing Washington special interest group Club for Growth.
"Washington insider Tom Cotton seems all too interested to get back to Washington to support Congressional Republicans' extreme out-of-touch agenda that protects tax breaks for millionaires and corporate outsourcers while cutting Medicare and causing seniors to pay more in out of pocket costs," said Stephanie Formas of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Not only does Cotton want to reset to the failed economic policies of the past, he wants to cut Social Security and destroy President Bill Clinton's landmark Children's Health Insurance Program -- slashing health care benefits for over 500,000 Arkansas children. Arkansas voters will quickly learn that Washington insider Tom Cotton's agenda is completely out of touch with hardworking Arkansas families struggling to pay for gas, groceries and rising health care costs."
Cotton Preferred Republican Study Committee Budget over Ryan Plan. "Paul Ryan has introduced his budget this week, which is a very important first step. I slightly prefer the House Republican Study Committee's budget, which balances the budget a little faster. In part by rolling back all spending that started in the Obama administration to where it was in 2008. Which isn't exactly, you know, lean times if you remember the Bush years when it came to spending. And then caps it there and freezes it for, you know, 5-10 years until we get the budget balanced. But whether it's the Path to Prosperity budget that Paul Ryan wrote, or the Honest Solutions budget that the Republican Study Committee wrote, it makes real cuts now and they are both a lot better than Barack Obama's budget." [University of Arkansas at Monticello Republican debate, uploaded 3/30/12]
RSC Budget would Make Medicare into a Voucher Program, Raise Social Security Eligibility Age. "The RSC plan would find additional cuts of $1 trillion from discretionary accounts such as agency budgets and another $700 billion from Medicaid [...] The RSC budget shores up the solvency of Social Security by raising the retirement age to 70 by 2045 [...] The RSCs Medicare overhaul would accelerate Ryan's proposed conversion of Medicare to a type of voucher system. While the House GOP budget eliminates the traditional program in 10 years for those currently 55 and under and replaces it with a 'premium support' system, in which Medicare pays private insurance plans for an option selected by seniors, the RSC budget speeds up the process."[The Hill, 4/08/11]
RSC Budget Would Make "Cuts of Unprecedented Depth" to CHIP and Medicaid. "The legislation would single out low-income programs for cuts of unprecedented depth. It would do so by creating a new budget category consisting of all domestic programs targeted on people with low incomes and by requiring that total expenditures in this category not exceed the total amount spent on these programs in 2007, adjusted for inflation...Although a majority of the expenditures in this category are for Medicaid and other health programs (like the Children's Health Insurance Program), there would be no adjustment in the cap for increases in health care costs, which rises significantly faster than general inflation [...] Medicaid and CHIP would be cut $144 billion in 2016 and more than $1.1 trillion over the cap's first six years." [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/05/11]
Over 100,000 Children Enrolled in CHIP in Arkansas. In 2010, there were 100,770 children enrolled in CHIP and over 505,077 enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid. "The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health care coverage to nearly 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but can't afford private coverage. Signed into law in 1997, CHIP provides federal matching funds to states to provide this coverage." [Medicaid.gov, accessed 5/22/12]
Cotton Supported Going Back to the Last Years of the Previous Administration. In January 2012, Cotton in a town hall meeting said it would be best to reset "to the last years of the Bush administration." [El Dorado News Times, 1/10/12]