EXTREME: Tom Cotton voted against millions in spending for Arkansas. Even John Boozman voted yes.

When you are more extreme than Sen. John “Dr. No” Boozman, you are extreme.

It couldn’t have been clearer this week. Boozman joined in overwhelming approval of a massive federal spending bill also championed by Sen. Mark Pryor. U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton voted against it in the House. So did Rep. Rick Crawford, protecting his Tea Party flank in a district whose major population center, Jonesboro, demonstrated this week that extremism in pursuit of harming the working poor is no vice. I refer to Republican John Cooper’s huge victory in a special state Senate election.


If you have time, proceed to the jump and peruse the staggering list of benefits to Arkansas in this spending bill.

Tom Cotton and Rick Crawford voted NO.


I could see a TV ad with a photograph of medical staffers with children at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Big letters on black screen:


Mark Pryor supported $7.7 million for the work of Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Tom Cotton voted NO to Children’s Hospital.

Arkansas comes first for Mark Pryor. 

Extremist ideology comes first for Tom Cotton. But we knew that. Sadly, I think he’d be an adherent of the strangle-government-and-public-benefits religion of the Club for Growth even if it wasn’t a chief source of his financing. That wacky stuff he dreamed up as a Harvard op-ed writer? Believed it then, still does.

You could do the same messaging with a different Arkansas beneficiary every day (heck every hour), with the dozens of items on the following list. I’d particularly like seeing a film clip of military ammo rolling off a Camden assembly line. Mark Pryor voted to keep the troops supplied. Tom Cotton voted no.

Boozman’s news release, by the way, emphasizes all the conservative red-meat spending in the bill, such as border security. And its larded with conservative talking points — against abortion spending, against IRS investigations of political groups, pro-gun language, pro-Israeli foreign aid language and so on. Cotton voted against many of his own pet interests.



$7,759,000 for the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in Little Rock

$4,642,000 for the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart

$62,494,000 for the National Center for Toxicology Research in Jefferson County

$15,000,000 for the Delta Regional Authority *$3m in Ag, $12m in E&W*

$2,976,000 for the Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center

$2,579,000 for the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center at Booneville

$1,800,000 for the National Agricultural Library Agricultural Law Program in Fayetteville

$1,502,000 for the Poultry Production and Products Safety Research in Fayetteville

$1,424,000 for the Lower Mississippi River Basin Program in Jonesboro


$1,000,000 for Sustainable Water Use Research at Arkansas State University

$40,000,000 for Bayou Meto and Grand Prairie—Pryor included language in the bill providing Bayou Meto and Grand Prairie with a Rural Utilities Service loan.

$52,485,000 for Research at Land-Grant Universities—The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$33,961,000 for the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative and Research at Land-Grant Universities—The University of Arkansas at Monticello’s forestry program may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$1,178,000,000 for Farm Service Agency (FSA)—FSA provides a wide variety of programs used by agricultural producers, including farm ownership loans and farm operating loans.

$1,011,000,000 for the Food Safety and Inspection Service—All current and future poultry and meat inspection services will be funded in this bill. In FY13, Pryor solved a funding gap for FSIS, protecting 40,000 private-sector jobs in Arkansas alone.

$462,400,000 for Rural Development-Water and Waste Disposal Program—Rural communities, including those across the state of Arkansas, may be eligible for funding to develop, modernize, and operate their water and waste disposal programs.

$6,716,000 for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program—This funding will provide new mothers, infants, and children with safe and reliable access to food. In 2013, over 80,000 families in Arkansas participated in WIC.

Commerce, Justice, and Science

$342,500,000 for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Public Works—West Central Planning and Development District in Hot Springs, a non-profit that works closely with the EDA to boost economic development, may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$376,000,000 for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants—This funding will allow state and local governments to implement prevention programs targeting illegal drug activity and violent crime.

$40,000,000 for Aerospace Research and Career Development, National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program—The Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, which includes 16 affiliates in the state, may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$67,000,000 for the Missing and Exploited Children Program—Northwest Arkansas Community College, which has developed cutting-edge curricula, certification and degree programs, and classes for students and professionals to help improve child abuse training, may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$19,000,000 for the Victims Child Abuse Program­­­—Children’s Advocacy Centers in Springdale and Rogers may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$10,000,000 for the Regional Innovation Program—This funding will provide for the continuation of EDA’s regional innovation cluster grants program. Under the bill, EDA will also be allowed to use $10,000,000 previously appropriated for science park loan guarantees and planning grants. Arkansas’s Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$40,500,000 for Drug Courts—This funding will support our drug courts, which help reduce recidivism and substance abuse among high-risk offenders. In Arkansas, there are 42 adult drug courts, 13 juvenile drug courts, 3 veterans drug courts, and 1 misdemeanor drug court.

$417,000,000 for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs—In 2010, Arkansas was ranked 19th in the nation for violence against women.


$1,000,000,000 for equipment for the National Guard and Reserve—This funding will ensure Guard and Reserve Units have the dual-use equipment necessary for missions overseas and here at home.

$150,000,000 for Arsenal Initiative—This funding will enhance the Army’s industrial base by ensuring arsenals have an adequate workload. Arkansas is the proud home of the Pine Bluff Arsenal.

$47,300,000 for the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP)—This funding will be used for the continuation of the C-130 AMP, which has a program at the Little Rock Force Base.

$40,000,000 for Air National Guard Squadrons—This funding will be used to transition all six Air National Guard Squadrons, including the 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith, to MQ-19/remote split operations by FY2020.

$43,170,000 for Technologies to Detect Concealed Weapons and Bombs—The University of Arkansas may be eligible for a portion of these funds to help develop devices that will combat irregular warfare tactics.

$30,579,000 for High-Capacity Wireless Communications for Remotely Piloted Vehicles—Space Photonics in Fayetteville may be eligible for a portion of these funds to develop technology for Advanced Aerospace Sensors.

$10,000,000 for Silicon Carbide Research—Arkansas Power Electronics in Fayetteville, which helps provide the U.S. military with power distribution and management, may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$51,428,000 for Nanoscale Solar Powered Bio-Sensors and Biological Threat Detection—This funding will help universities across the country develop small detection devices to be inserted into troop gear during combat against biological threats.

$218,000,000 for TRICARE—This funding will protect service members from paying higher out-of-pocket costs for their health care.

$10,200,000 for Civil Air Patrol Aircrafts

$28,400,000 for the Civil Air Patrol Operations and Maintenance

The following ammunition programs may benefit Camden’s defense community:

Cartridges, Tank, 105mm and 120mm (Army) $121,551,000
Hydra 70 Rocket, All Types (Army) $108,476,000
FMU-143 Bomb Fuze (Air Force) $76,037,000
Mortars, 120mm, All Types (Army) $60,781,000
40mm Cartridge Program (Army) $55,781,000
Mortars, 60mm, All Types (Army) $38,029,000
FMU-143 Bomb Fuze (Navy, Marine Corps) $37,703,000
M67 Fragmentation Hand Grenade (Army) $33,242,000
Mortars, 81mm, All Types (Army) $24,656,000
Cartridges, Tank, 105mm, and 120mm (Navy) $13,361,000
40mm Cartridge Program (Navy, Marine Corps) $7,644,000
M67 Fragmentation Hand Grenade (Navy, Marine Corps) $2,149,000

The defense appropriations bill will roll back harmful cuts made at the expense of our disabled military retirees and survivors. This language was introduced by Pryor. Pryor is continuing to press a measure to protect these earned benefits for all military retirees.

Increased funding will also be available to improve the transfer of health records from the DoD to the VA, helping reduce the VA disability claims backlog. Over the past year, Pryor has introduced several bipartisan bills to help Arkansas veterans stuck in limbo over pending disability claims.

Energy and Water

$32,400,000 for the Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability—University of Arkansas at Little Rock may be eligible for a portion of these funds to help develop advanced electrical grid technologies.

$10,000,000 for Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)—University of Arkansas may be eligible for a portion of these funds to invest in physical sciences, as well as engineering research and programs.

$1,000,000 for Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor—This funding will be used by the Department of Energy to develop a plan and cost-estimate for the cleanup of Southwest Experimental Fast Oxide Reactor, which is located near West Fork in Washington County.

Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Funding


Channel Improvement
AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO &TN $58,015,000
Mississippi River Levees
AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO &TN $22,829,000
Grand Prairie, AR $22,000,000
Bayou Meto $5,000,000

General Investigation and Studies:

Lower Mississippi Resource Assessment
AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO & TN $99,000

Operation and Maintenance:

Channel Improvement
AR, IL, KY, MS, MO &TN $76,978,000
McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, AR: $28,558,000
Helena Harbor, Phillips County $33,000
Inspection of Completed Works, AR $250,000
Lower Arkansas River, North Bank $287,000
Lower Arkansas River, South Bank $193,000
Mississippi River Levees
AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO &TN $8,479,000
St. Francis Basin, AR & MO $5,900,000
Tensas Basin, Boeuf and Tensas Rivers, AR & LA $1,839,000
White River Backwater, AR $1,142,000
Beaver Lake $7,187,000
Blakely Mt. Dam $7,938,000
Blue Mountain Lake $1,909,000
Bull Shoals Lake $11,564,000
Dardanelle Lock and Dam $7,750,000
DeGray Lake $5,637,000
DeQueen Lake $1,902,000
Dierks Lake $1,586,000
Gillham Lake $1,735,000
Greers Ferry Lake $7,405,000
Helena Harbor, Phillips County $26,000
Millwood Lake $2,706,000
Narrows Dam, Lake Greeson $5,841,000
Nimrod Lake $2,016,000
Norfork Lake $8,148,000
Ouachita and Black Rivers, AR & LA $9,786,000
Ozark-Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam $6,287,000
Inspection of Complete Works $517,000
White River, AR $31,000
Osceola Harbor $15,000
Yellow Bend Port, AR $3,000
Project Condition Surveys, AR: $2,000

Financial Services

$192,000,000 for the Small Business Administration Disaster Grants—This funding will support businesses, homeowners, and renters recovering from major disasters. In 2013, Pryor signed on to the bipartisan Small Business Disaster Recovery Act to help Arkansas small businesses owners cut through the red tape when applying for small amounts of disaster funding.

$118,000,000 for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)—This funding will be used to develop safety rules for infant and toddler products, conduct research on potential health risks of nanotechnology, and enhance import surveillance at our nation’s ports of entry. It will also be used to implement Pryor’s law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which has already dramatically reduced product recalls and kept toxic toys and dangerous products out of the marketplace.

$113,625,000 for the Small Business Development Center—The Arkansas Small Business Development Center in Little Rock may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$8,000,000 for the Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Export Program (STEP)—Arkansas World Trade Center in Fayetteville may be eligible for a portion of these funds to carry out their export promotion efforts for small businesses.

$196,000,000 for Small Business Administration Entrepreneurial Grants—This funding will provide assistance, training, and businesses planning guidance to individuals interested in starting or growing their small business.

Pryor helped include language in the bill ensuring wage grade employees, like those at Pine Bluff Arsenal and Red River Depot, receive a 1% Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) increase like other federal employees.

Homeland Security

$10,580,000,000 for Custom and Border Protection (CBP)—This funding will provide for increased levels for border patrol agents at ports of entry—2,000 new officers—as well as operations and procurement of assets needed to protect our borders.

$350,000,000 for Emergency Management Performance Grant Program—The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management may be eligible for a portion of these funds to help prepare for and respond to natural disasters and hazards.

$29,000,000 for FEMA State and Local Programs, Education, Training, and Exercises—This funding will be used by state organizations to provide guidance on how to best combat cyber crimes. Criminal Justice Institute of Arkansas may be eligible for a portion of these funds.

$5,614,000,000 for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—This funding will support detention and removal programs; visa supervision and analysis; and human trafficking, smuggling, child exploitation, trade compliance, commercial trade fraud, and overstay investigations.

$227,000,000 for the Office of Biometric Identity Management—Funds will be used to share real-time biometric and identity data between departments in order to better monitor who legally enters and exits our country.

$100,000,000 for Port Security Grants

$2,000,000 for Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC)­­—This funding will allow states to quickly receive or provide trained first responders and other assistance to neighboring states when tornadoes, flooding, or other disasters strike.

Under the bill, implementation of flood insurance increases will be delayed an additional year.


$550,000 for Senator Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge

Pryor inserted language renaming the White River National Wildlife Refuge the Senator Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge in honor of Bumpers’ work in creating the Refuge.

Language is included to support all current fish hatcheries, including Greers Ferry and Norfork, and ensure that none of them can be closed. It also promotes EPA-FDA collaboration on nanotoxicology, which will benefit NCTR in Jefferson County.

$2,500,000,000 for the National Park Service—Arkansas is home to 6 national parks, including Hot Springs National Park, Buffalo National River, Pea Ridge National Military Park, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Central High National Historic Site, and the Arkansas Post National Memorial.

$472,000,000 for National Wildlife Refuges—This funding will be used for the operation of our national wildlife refuges.

$58,695,000 for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants—Arkansas Game and Fish may be eligible for a portion of these funds develop and implement programs benefitting wildlife and their habitats.

$6,500,000 for Surveys, Investigations and Research, Water Resources Research Act—Arkansas Water Resources Center at the University of Arkansas may be eligible for a portion of these funds to research water shortage issues.

$2,355,783,000 for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund—Arkansas Water Association may be eligible for a portion of these funds to complete critical water quality projects in the state.

Under the bill, EPA is prohibited from establishing greenhouse gas regulations for livestock producers.

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education

$1,495,000,000 for Community Health Centers—There are 12 federally qualified health centers in Arkansas, many in rural in underserved areas, that provide access to affordable and high-quality health services. In 2012, these centers served 164,000 patients.

$30,326,000 for the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program – The University of Arkansas at Medical Sciences (UAMS) may be eligible for a portion of these funds to train physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals.

$8,598,000,000 for Head Start – This funding will allow Head Start to provide comprehensive early childhood services for children and families and recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. There are 22 Head Start Programs in Arkansas, which serve nearly 10,000 children.

$3,424,000,000 for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)—This program will assist families, including many seniors and veterans in rural areas, with their air-conditioning and heating bills. In FY13, over 67,000 Arkansas families benefitted from this program.

$265,000,000 for Graduate Medical Education Programs at Children’s Hospitals—UAMS may be eligible for this funding.

$22,778,352,000 for Pell Grants—This funding will help provide need-based grants to low-income students in order to boost access to higher education.

$1,702,000,000 for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act—These funds will provide students of all ages with career and technical education in order to better prepare them for today’s global economy.

$838,000,000 for TRiO Programs—This program helps low-income and first-generation college students plan, prepare for, and succeed in college.

$270,000,000 for Veterans Employment and Training—This funding will be used to expand employment services to transitioning service members, disabled veterans, and their spouses.

Military Construction

$21,000,000 for Fort Chaffee—Construction of this facility will help support individual and collective training readiness requirements at Fort Chaffee.

$7,600,000,000 for Long Term Care—This funding will be used to support long-term care for our nation’s aging veterans, as well as severely wounded combat veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill also includes funds to construct state extended care facilities.

$4,888,000,000 for Women Veterans Program—This funding will help provide healthcare for women veterans.

$4,000,000,000 for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans—This funding will be used to meet the health care needs of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

$586,000,000 for Medical and Prosthetic Research—Funds will be used to conduct research in a number of areas including mental health, TBI, spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, polytrauma injuries, and sensory loss.

$250,000,000 for VA Healthcare Services for Rural Veterans

This bill will provide the VA with additional tools to address the VA disability claims backlog—from upgrades of computer hardware to Inspector General Reviews of record transmissions between the DoD and the VA.


$41,000,000,000—This funding will support investments in roads and bridges across the country. According to the Department of Transportation, for every $1 billion invested in our transportation infrastructure, 34,000 jobs are supported.

$3,350,000,000 for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Grants-In-Aid-for-Airports, Airport Improvement Program—Arkansas airports may be eligible for a portion of these funds to upgrade and modernize their facilities. Arkansas’s commercial and general aviation airports support 29,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in economic activity annually.

$140,000,000 for the FAA Operations and Contract Tower Program—This fully funds the FAA’s contract tower program, and includes language protecting the program against cuts. Last year, the Fayetteville and Texarkana control towers were slated for closure, but Pryor worked with a bipartisan coalition to give FAA authority to transfer funding and keep them open.

$3,030,000 for Community Development Block Grants—This funding will allow state and local governments to invest in infrastructure, small businesses, housing, and services to grow their economies and create jobs.

$600,000,000 for TIGER Program Grants—This funding will support transportation projects throughout the country, from our highways and bridges to our ports.