Arkies in the Beltway | Week of March 31, 2024

Thank you for checking out this week's episode of "Arkies in the Beltway!" I'm Alex Thomas — Washington Correspondent for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette — with your look at national politics and the Arkansans influencing the discussions.

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As discussed during our March 24 episode, Congress approved the second spending package necessary for funding the rest of the federal government and avoiding a government shutdown through September.

The recent $1.2 trillion measure included funding for multiple projects in Arkansas, including steps to modernize Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith for its foreign military sales mission.

STORY: Latest budget approved by Congress last week contains millions of dollars for projects in Arkansas

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., recently traveled to El Salvador to get a glimpse of President Nayib Bukele's efforts addressing gang violence in the Central American nation.

Bukele and the Salvadoran government have enforced policies to curtail gangs, but this campaign has raised international concerns surrounding human rights violations.

Cotton, of Little Rock, has dismissed these criticisms, arguing that Bukele's approach has been an effective strategy in making El Salvador a safer country.

STORY: Cotton explains El Salvador trip, support for gang violence policies

Thanks again for supporting "Arkies in the Beltway!" Make sure to keep up with all news involving Arkansas at You can also stay informed about what's happening in the nation's capital by following me online; my social media handle across all platforms is @AlexHouseThomas.

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