HOW EXTREME IS TOM COTTON, PART V:

Just got this news release from the Arkansas congressional delegation.

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The Agriculture Department has signed off on declaring 61 Arkansas counties as drought disaster areas. This will allow farmers and rachers to apply for relief money.

Routine sort of news release. But ….. What’s not routine is the list of congressmen signed onto the list announcing the federal disaster aid:

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U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Mark Pryor and U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack.

AWOL: U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, the Dardanelle-area renter, who made headlines with his first vote in Congress against disaster aid in the form of a flood insurance fund for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Cotton defended that by saying the disaster money shouldn’t be spent unless some federal spending was cut elsewhere. The Arkansas disaster money comes from a previously approved continuing resolution for agriculture funding. So there’s no excess spending argument on this one. Perhaps he’s just sensitive to appearances. I’ve asked.

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UPDATE (SORRY, THIS CAME ABOUT 5:25 PM, BUT I’VE BEEN OUT OF TOWN):

“Like the other delegation members, Tom is pleased his constituents will benefit from the declaration, but was traveling and hadn’t yet reviewed the release. They were ready to release it and I didn’t want to delay it, so I told them to go ahead.” -Doug Coutts, chief of staff, Rep Cotton