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The attack is the DSCC's first in response to the shutdown threat, which has split GOP lawmakers. The Democratic group believes they can use the issue to paint Cotton, who just announced he would challenge Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), as outside the mainstream.


Pryor is viewed by strategists in both parties as the most vulnerable Democratic senator up for reelection this cycle, and his seat is a must-win for Republicans if they hope to take back Senate control. Cotton is a favorite of both the Tea Party and establishment Republicans.

"Arkansans need leaders who are standing up for them in Washington, not self-serving politicians like Tom CottonTom CottonCotton: House 'moved a bit too fast' on healthcare Sunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE who care more about their personal political ambition instead than fighting for Arkansas," said Barasky.

Cotton's spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the lawmaker "strongly supports all efforts to defund, delay and ultimately repeal Obamacare, regardless the legislative approach."

Cotton told radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier this summer that upcoming fights over the debt ceiling and a spending bill could be critical in blocking the president's healthcare reform bill.

"I think that when we return from our August recess in September with our continuing resolution and then in October-November with the debt ceiling, those are important opportunities to try to strike another blow against ObamaCare before that law takes effect, before the insurance marketplaces begin to open for enrollment on October 1 and before they open for business on January 1," Cotton said.

"And whether that takes the form of trying to defund it or trying to effectively defund it by delaying for a year or two years the core provisions ... because those are two must-pass pieces of legislation it gives us an opportunity to defund ObamaCare before it takes effect."

A number of Senate Republicans have slammed the idea of using the debates to try to defund the healthcare law, which has been pushed by Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeSenate takes up NATO membership for Montenegro Overnight Defense: Civilian casualties raise questions about rules of engagement | Air Force nominee set for hearing | Senate takes up NATO membership for Montenegro This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat MORE (R-Utah).

Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrSenate committee to question Kushner over Russian meetings: report Devin Nunes has jeopardized the oversight role of Congress Schumer: Trump must apologize for wiretapping claim MORE (R-N.C.) has called it the "dumbest idea" he's ever heard of, while Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerSenate takes up NATO membership for Montenegro GOP lawmaker: Time to work with Dems on healthcare GOP senator: I'm ready to work with Trump, Dems on healthcare MORE (R-Tenn.) has called it a "silly effort."