Lott Back on Top

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott said he's looking forward to becoming majority leader again. He plans to do a lot of consulting with colleagues immediately, as he plans for conducting business during the lame duck session and the new Congress.

"I'm excited to be able to be on offense working with this President, thinking about what we can do when we come back into session next year," said Lott. "But of course also even next week we'll be back in session. And I've got to communicate with Sen. Dashcle and Speaker Hastert and the administration about next week. How long we will be in session and what issues we might be able to deal with."

Among the bills Lott wants passed quickly are Homeland Security, an energy bill, making the tax cut permanent, and a prescription drug plan.

Lott's return as Senate Majority Leader could mean a great deal to Meridian and Lauderdale County. At least, that's the opinion of GOP Mayor John Robert Smith.

"Keep in mind, Thad Cochran, within two years, will probably be chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and when a state the size of Mississippi has the majority leader and the chair of appropriations both from their state you can expect really, really good things for your home state," said Smith.