Arkies in the Beltway | Week of Feb. 4, 2024

This is "Arkies in the Beltway" for the week of Feb. 4, 2024. I'm Alex Thomas, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Washington correspondent, with your look at national politics and the Arkansans influencing the discussions.

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U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., caught the attention of many political observers following last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, during which Cotton spent his allotted time grilling TikTok CEO Shou Chew.

The senator from Little Rock has been a longstanding critic of TikTok. He used his question period to press Chew about the platform's ties to China and even Chew's own business experiences.

STORY: Cotton uses hearing on children’s online safety to grill TikTok CEO over ties to China

Johnny Cash is set to be honored in the U.S. Capitol in the coming months with a statue, but another honor may be in store for the late country music icon.

Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., is leading a legislative effort to redesignate the Kingsland post office for Cash. Westerman of Hot Springs introduced the related legislation just weeks shy of the 30th anniversary of Cash helping dedicate the post office upon its opening.

STORY: Federal effort would rename Kingsland post office for Johnny Cash

The Federal Election Commission has received multiple financial reports from Arkansans seeking national office.

Arkansas has only one contested congressional primary in the March 5 primary; Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., is facing a challenge from state Sen. Clint Penzo, R-Springdale.

The Womack campaign ended last calendar year with a significant financial advantage over Penzo; the Womack camp reported $2.3 million in its reserves, while the Penzo campaign ended 2023 with nearly $44,000 in cash on hand.

STORY: Womack’s 3rd District campaign has $2.3M on hand; challenger Penzo reports nearly $44,000

Thanks for listening to "Arkies in the Beltway!" Check out arkansasonline.com for more news about the Natural State, and feel free to follow me on social media at the handle @AlexHouseThomas for news from Washington, D.C.!

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