The conservative leader in the U.S. Senate, Tom Cotton, said he did not break the law or violate the Logan Act when he and 47 other Republican Senators sent an open letter to the leadership of Iran.
“No, we basically stated the rules of constitutional law," U.S. Senator Tom Cotton said in an interview at the Region 8 News studios. "While the President negotiates international agreements, Congress has to ratify them,for them to be lasting and binding. And in fact, the President and the Secretary of State have since said this agreement is only a political agreement between the leadership of the two countries and I would certainly stand up for the Constitution anytime. Now that we know how dangerous this deal is for the United States, I would certainly hope that the next President would reverse it. I will work in Congress to do everything I can to defeat it."
The junior Senator claims the President's decision to negotiate with Iran is dangerous and short-sighted.
"The first and most immediate objection, putting aside the nuclear question is that Iran is going to get tens of millions of dollars while they still have the blood on their hands of hundreds of American soldiers that they killed in Iraq," Cotton said. "They're still the world's worst sponsor of terrorism and they're increasingly in more control of capitols in Iraq and Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. In addition, this is going to put them on a path to a nuclear weapon. Whether they follow the deal in just 10 to 15 years, or more likely whether they cheat on the deal, and once Iraq gets a nuclear weapon, I think many other countries in the Middle East will pursue it. It will substantially increase the risk of a nuclear attack on the United States, if not from Iran, from their terrorist proxies or nuclear war in the Middle East. That's bad for the U.S. That's bad for our allies like Israel. That's bad for world peace and world stability."
Senator Cotton said he is following the Republican presidential debates.
He smiled when asked about Donald Trump and the attention he is currently gaining.
"With his background in reality TV, it certainly makes for good TV," Cotton said. "But, I think it goes to show that, too, the interest that people have first in the Republican primary. You know they had a debate this month that had record levels of viewership. And second, when you add in not just the support that Mr. Trump has, but also Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, two non-traditional candidates. It just goes to show how many people are looking for something other than business as usual in Washington. And that's what, last year, I kind of campaigned on as well. To shake up Washington, I just didn't want to go on as business as usual."
The senator from Dardanelle said he is hopeful that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, will be good for Arkansas farmers.
"I just returned from a trip with East Asia, which included a trip to Japan, one of the main TPP partners and Taiwan and Korea," Cotton said. "Both of which would like to become TPP partners in the future. I am very hopeful that the administration will negotiate a good tough deal that does benefit Arkansas farmers and ranchers. Whether it's rice or soybeans, poultry or beef for what you have. On my visit, I met with economic ministers. I met with representatives of Tyson Foods to talk about these very issues and push for a better deal for Arkansas' farmers and ranchers."
As for farmers struggling to find a labor force willing to work in the fields or on ranches, Senator Cotton talked of a need to rework entitlement programs.
"It doesn't make sense for people to go back to work if you can add together, welfare or food stamps, disability and so forth," Cotton said. "We need to make it pay off to work. Just like Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress did in the 1990's when the reformed welfare programs and imposed work requirements, encouraged people to get back into the workforce, gained skills to move up the economic ladder. That's the kind of thing on the demand side, for labor, to get Washington off the back of farmers and the supply side, to put people back in the workforce that we need."
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