Paycheck Fairness Act

Cotton Did Not Sign The Discharge Petition To Move The Paycheck Fairness Act To The House Floor. According to the House of Representatives, Cotton’s name did not appear on the petition “to discharge the Committee on Education and the Workforce from the consideration of the bill H.R. 277 entitled, a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes, which was referred to said committee January 23, 2013, in support of which motion the undersigned Members of the House of Representatives affix their signatures.” [House of Representatives, 4/11/13]

  • The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Provide More Effective Remedies To Victims Of Discrimination In The Payment Of Wages On The Basis Of Sex. According to Congressional Quarterly, The Paycheck Fairness Act would “amend the Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.” [Congressional Quarterly, 12/13/13]

Refusal To Take A Position

Audio: Cotton Did Not Respond To A Question About Women’s Pay Equity, Instead Calling President Obama’s War On Women “Demagoguery.” According to a transcript of Tom Cotton’s interview with Alice Stewart following the SOTU speech, “STEWART: One more issue that he hit on that I thought was interesting, he tried to continue the dialogue of the war on women and equal pay for women. Do you see this as a sign of things to come moving closer to the election in November? The Democrats continuing the dialogue of Republicans and a so-called, non-existent war on women in the Republican party? COTTON: The president will engage in whatever kind of demagoguery is necessary to advance his own political agenda. In the 2010 midterm elections, he spoke to a group of Hispanics in – I believe it was – Nevada and encouraged them to go punish their enemies at the polls. Alice, we have enemies who we’re fighting overseas in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. In domestic politics, we certainly have opponents and rivals, but we don’t have enemies. We’re all Americans. We’re all working together to make this country better. That kind of rhetoric just goes to show the lengths to which the president will go to win an election.” [Alice Stewart Radio Show, 1/29/14]

Women’s Equality In Military

Cotton Opposed Women Serving In Infantry Units Because Their “Nature” And Lack Of Physical Strength Would “Impair Mission-Essential Tasks.” According to CBS News, “Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a freshman representative who has served in two wars, said Tuesday afternoon that women shouldn’t be allowed in infantry combat roles because it’s not conducive to their ‘nature.’ ‘To have women serving in infantry, though, could impair the mission-essential tasks of units,’ Cotton said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. ‘And that’s been proven in study after study, just from a matter of — it’s nature, upper body strength, and physical movements, and speed, and endurance, and so forth.’ Mediate reports that Cotton did commend women’s accomplishments in non-combat military roles. The conservative congressman, who has two Harvard degrees and served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, was elected in 2012 to represent Arkansas’ fourth district with financial help from the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth.” [CBS News, 1/9/13]

Cotton Deferred To Defense Department On Impact Of Allowing Women To Serve In Combat Units, But Remained Concerned That Female Combat Soldiers Could Undermine “Mission Essential” Tasks. According to the Southwest Times Record, “U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton is reserving judgment on Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision to lift a ban on women serving in combat. In an interview Friday, the veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan remains concerned that women are not physically capable of performing certain ‘mission essential’ tasks required of front-line infantry soldiers or special forces. ‘We would want to make sure the mission essential tasks of those jobs can be performed,’ Cotton, R-Dardanelle, said… Cotton, a former Army infantry officer, said he has faith that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos will not allow any degradation of those units. He expects that men and women seeking to serve in those roles will be tested to ensure they can perform mission essential tasks.” [Southwest Times Record, 1/26/13]