Mark Pryor knocks Tom Cotton for opposing economic development money | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mark Pryor knocks Tom Cotton for opposing economic development money

Posted By on Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, the Club for Growth's candidate in the race for U.S. Senate, wants to strangle government. Credit him for being  outfront about that and for forging ahead with his agenda in an election year. It gives Sen. Mark Pryor many opportunities to point out the  differences between the two.

Today, for example, Pryor notes that Cotton — alone among Arkansas Republicans in the House — supported an unsuccessful effort to eliminate money for the Economic Development Administration, which funnels millions into Arkansas projects. The Club for Growth, a major backer of Cotton, supported this amendment, defeated even in the Republican-majority House. Cotton voted May 29 for the quarter-billion-dollar cut the day after the Club for Growth instructed members of Congress to vote that way. That instruction followed by a day another major ad buy by the Club for Growth for Cotton. Pryor's comment:

“I’ll continue to support this program because it means good-paying jobs for Arkansas and makes our communities stronger,” said Senator Mark Pryor. “Congressman Cotton isn’t listening to Arkansans, and his political ambitions are no excuse for voting once again against working families and our state’s economy. Instead of listening to the Washington special interests, Congressman Cotton should join Arkansas’ Republicans and Democrats to support bringing critical investment into our state — that’s the responsible thing to do for hardworking Arkansas families.”

What has the EDA done in Arkansas? According to the Pryor campaign:

* New electric generators to support business expansion in North Little Rock.
* Extension of a city sewer line in Jonesboro.
* Rehabilitating a rail line from Lake Village to Lake Providence, La.
* Expansion of an aviation repair facility in Blytheville.
* Rebuilding an access road in Stuttgart.
* Renovating the Arkansas River Resource Center.
* A water system upgrade in Clinton.
* A conference center in Fairfiled Bay.
* Water treatment work in Heber Springs.
* Business development training and research in the Delta, at UALR, the UA, Southern Arkansas University and West Memphis.

These projects are credited with creating, or saving, hundreds of jobs. Tom Cotton says the government can't afford it. Mark Pryor says it can, particularly because the EDA focuses on job development in distressed area. Elections are about such choices.

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