Sen. Cotton uncertain of healthcare fate, hopes debt ceiling increase brings spending reforms

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 212 views 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Congress’ busy post-recess agenda includes healthcare reform, tax policy, and dealing with the limits of debt ceiling. But where those efforts land is a large question mark.

Cotton, in an interview taped on Tuesday and appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, said healthcare will be revisited, but may not be resolved by the end of this session of Congress.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen on healthcare, to be honest with you. Obamacare’s not getting better and we’re going to have to revisit healthcare,” Cotton said. “That may not happen next month, it may not happen the next four months, but too many Arkansans are still going to pay premiums that are increasing and losing access to their doctors, so that may be more targeted, specific reforms to try to bring down the cost of insurance for Arkansans, but trying to repeal Obamacare, as we did over the summer, is not going to be on the immediate agenda. It was clear that we didn’t have the votes to do so, as much as I would like to have done so.”

A clear tax reform package has not emerged that could be a consensus builder in the Senate. Cotton said that he hopes the final measure will give a break to businesses and families and he wants a simplification of the tax code.

On the debt ceiling, Sen. Cotton predicts it will be increased. However, he hopes that spending changes will be tied to the measure as they have in the past.

“The debt ceiling will be increased. I hope it’s increased with some kind of accompanying reforms to our budgeting and our spending processes,” he said. “I’ll wait and see what the final legislation looks like, but the debt ceiling has frequently, in recent times, been an occasion when you can adopt reforms that hopefully result in spending a little bit less and spending taxpayer dollars more wisely. That’s what I would like to see.”

If there’s one thing Cotton is certain about, it is the win-loss record of the Arkansas Razorback football team this year. Cotton said an undefeated season and national championship would be a fitting tribute to the late Frank Broyles. His prediction: “14-0.”

Watch Cotton’s full interview in the video below, including his thoughts on Afghanistan and the controversy over Confederate monuments.

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