© Greg Nash
Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster MORE (R-Ark.) is raising concerns about a House-proposed border adjustment tax a day after House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection MORE (R-Wis.) huddled with Senate Republicans.
"Today I want to put on the record my serious concerns about a border adjustment tax. Many other senators share these concerns," he said from the Senate floor.
He added that Senate Republicans "most certainly will not keep our powder dry and see working Americans railroaded with a precooked deal that raises their taxes and increase the prices of the stuff they buy every single day."
Cotton is part of a growing number of Senate Republicans who are publicly raising concerns about a core element of the House tax plan — a 20 percent across-the-board tax on imports, known as a border adjustment tax.
A GOP source familiar with the meeting told The Hill that Ryan urged senators to "keep your powder dry" while House lawmakers work out the details of their tax plan.
But Cotton — while stressing that he is reserving his final judgement — argued that logic for supporting the border adjustment tax is "Orwellian."
"Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them," the Arkansas senator. "This is a theory wrapped in speculation inside a guess. Nobody knows for sure what will happen."
Cotton noted the tax would hit hard the top employer of his home state — Wal-Mart, which could make it difficult for him to ultimately support the House bill.
"Why would we make the stuff they get at Wal-Mart more expensive?" he asked. "Working Americans will get stiffed again."
Republicans are using a process known as "reconciliation" to clear their tax proposal through the Senate. That means they can only afford to lose two GOP lawmakers and still get it approved without any support from Democrats