Cochran to Step Up

With the United States facing demands for more and more funding for national security and other government programs, some Mississippians may now feel more confident of this state getting its share of the federal pie.

Mississippi's Thad Cochran is in line to serve as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"I'm looking forward to having the new responsibility. I don't have any announcements to make about what we're going to do as chairman of appropriations, but it is quite a challenge to help insure we do the right things as far as holding down federal spending so the deficit doesn't get out of control," said Cochran, "but at the same time acknowledge that we do have unmet needs, particularly here in our state. We have a lot of pressure on the budget from our national defense requirements at this time and homeland security."

Cochran was invited by the Lake-Lawrence Lions Club, which wanted to show its appreciation for him.

"I know Sen. Cochran well enough to know he's not going to just send money to Mississippi just because someone wants it," said Lions Club member Jack Winstead. "It's got to be something worthwhile."

However, Winstead said he believes it puts the state in a good position. Cochran said he too is hopeful that Mississippi will be able to get a fair hearing when the time comes.

"When we have needs here that are special and that are beyond the means of our state, to take care of them, we are very interested in continued economic development activities," Cochran said.

Cochran said his hope is that Mississippi may be able to add to the work of defense contractors and gain new industries.