On Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., saw a measure he sponsored clear the U.S. House and head for the President’s desk to become law. He also expressed confidence in President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy moves and slate of cabinet picks.
Cotton was interviewed by Talk Business & Politics’ Roby Brock on Tuesday (Dec. 6). The state’s junior senator was certain that President Obama would sign the Charles Duncan Buried with Honor Act that cleared the House of Representatives earlier in the day.
“Given the unanimous vote in the Senate, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs support, and the vote today in the House, I’m fully confident the President will be signing it,” Cotton said. “I’m not sure whether we’ll have a signing ceremony.”
The measure allows for veterans’ burials in state cemeteries closer to home in limited situations. The bill is named for Charles Duncan of Little Rock, who died last year. Due to financial hardship, Duncan’s family had to rely on the VA for his casket and burial fees, but a small gap in the law meant he was only eligible for burial in Fort Smith, which is more than 150 miles from his home, according to Cotton’s office.
Cotton also offered confidence that President-elect Donald Trump – who has been meeting with world leaders by phone and in person and who has been sending signals on foreign policy through his Twitter account – is getting proper counsel from those with knowledge of international affairs and that security channels for those conversations are appropriately secure.
“I don’t have great concerns about Donald Trump’s tweets,” Cotton said, noting that previous presidents have taken advantage of new media channels to communicate publicly.
“As far as his conversations with world leaders go, I’m 100% confident that the transition officials both in the government and out of the government have provided all the adequate security that they need – physical security, cyber security, communications security – for the President-elect as they would have done for any President-elect,” Cotton said.
When pressed for proof, Cotton said, “I sit on the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee. Let’s just say that I am very confident that proper security is being undertaken.”
Cotton also said that he supports all of the Trump cabinet picks that have been announced so far. However, he said the confirmation process should be “fair and thorough.”
“I think every nominee needs to have a thorough public vetting in front of their relevant committees. We need to review their record and take seriously our ‘advise and consent’ responsibility under the Constitution,” he said. “Now, a fair and thorough hearing is not a aggressive or antagonistic hearing. It’s simply fully airing their records and their plans to help implement the President-elect’s agenda and to be responsive to the requests and the inquiries of Congress going forward.”
Watch his full interview below.