New Reps Change Mississippi’s Influence in WashingtonBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 29 Dec 2010 02:22pm |
The 112th congress will start work shortly after the New Year. Two brand new representatives will join several veteran Mississippi law makers. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the new representatives change Mississippi's influence in the congress.
Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee, represents Mississippi's Northern first district, he has been appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee....That is the same committee that Nunnelee chaired during his time in the Mississippi State Senate.
The appointment gives Nunnelee a chance to follow up on what he considers his top goal.
"We've got to get restraint of spending. I think that is a clear message that the American people sent and I look forward to implementing that agenda," Nunnelee said.
Nunnelee argues that spending will have to be cut across the board, but is less than specific about where he will find those cuts.
" I'd like to see us go back to the pre-Stimulus, pre-Bail Out level of spending and let's start there. (reporter: What about entitlements and defense spending?) Again, I think we need to go back to the '08 levels and use that as a baseline and then begin to work from there," Nunnelee.
Mississippi's fourth district is also sending a freshman to Capitol Hill. Republican Steven Palazzo unseated long time Democrat Gene Taylor and will sit on the Armed Services and Science and Technology committees.
Losing Gene Taylor's seniority on the Armed Services Committee is a blow to the state because that committee has played an important role in developing Mississippi's shipbuilding industry.
Veteran Congressman Bennie Thompson, is now the state's only democrat in the Washington delegation. He defends the work congress has done in the last two years as necessary and productive.
"I'm happy to have participated in making sure that this country did not go into a depression. Because I supported those programs that I am firmly convinced saved this country from going into a depression," Thompson said.
The state retains much of its influence in the Senate. With Republicans, Roger Wicker serving on four committees and Thad Cochran holding the ranking position on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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