Tom Cotton

No single issue has been a greater animating force for the Republican base over the past decade than immigration — except maybe the Affordable Care
Act (aka Obamacare).

And with the failure of GOP health care efforts in Congress and sliding poll numbers this summer, the Trump White House seems to be making a concerted effort to elevate cultural wedge issues, from immigration and a ban on transgender people in the military to affirmative action and police conduct.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

President Trump unveiled controversial legislation on Wednesday that would sharply curtail legal immigration to the United States.

The president met at the White House with two Republican senators pushing the legislation, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia.

The 2014 U.S. Senate matchup between Democrat Mark Pryor and Republican Tom Cotton hasn’t even officially been set, but the rhetorical battle is already raging.

Cotton, the first-term congressman from the fourth district, is widely expected to throw his hat in the ring this week against Pryor, who is considered one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election in next year’s mid-terms.