U. S. Representative Tom Cotton Speaks At Chamber Banquet

United States Representative Tom Cotton was the guest speaker at the Charleston Chamber of Commerce Banquet that was held last Saturday in the Charleston Elementary and Middle School cafeteria.

Rep. Cotton represents the Fourth Congressional District of Arkansas. He is serving his first term in the House and sits on the Financial Services and House Foreign Affairs Committees.

Rep. Cotton said it was a great privilege to speak at the Chamber Banquet and talked about the vital role that the Chamber plays in the community and thanked Chamber members for the opportunities that they provided for all.

He also told the crowd about some of the friendships that he had made since being elected to Congress and said that the first two months of his term has been very uplifting, adding that he did go in with any type of expectations.

Rep Cotton said that he tried to emulate U. S. Senator Dr. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma by being honest and upfront with everyone even if he disagrees with them.

Rep. Cotton talked to those present about the budget and that he wanted to have real tax reform to give people more opportunity to help achieve the American Dream for yourself and your children.

He also said that there needed to be reduced spending and reduced taxes. When the government grows as large as it is it crowds people out, he added.

Rep. Cotton also talked about the importance of having a balanced budget, something he would like to accomplish in he next 10 years.

The military has suffered spending cuts, but we remain a dangerous world, Rep. Cotton said adding that he wants to restore more money to the military. He wanted a budget that would help give prosperity, opportunity and security to all, he added.

The budget is more than just numbers, it reflects choices, he said.

Born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County, Rep. Cotton is a sixth generation Arkansan and a native of the congressional district he now represents. He graduated from Dardanelle high school, Harvard, and Harvard Law School.

The 9/11 attacks, which occurred during his final year in law school, caused him to leave law after a clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals and a brief period in private practice to join the armed forces. He declined a commission as a JAG attorney and instead joined the United States Army as an Infantry Officer.

He served nearly five years on active duty, completing two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, where he led an infantry platoon in daily combat patrols. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.

Between his two combat tours, he served as a platoon leader with The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. He then served in Afghanistan as the operations officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team.

After leaving active duty and before being elected to Congress, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co.