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Make no mistake about it: Mississippians are tired of the U.S. Senate GOP primary race. Much of the frustration stems from the negative ads that force their way into our lives through the TV, the radio waves, and the ad space in the margins of our Facebook news feed.

But who is most qualified? Simply put, Thad Cochran is most the most qualified leader in Mississippi.

As we’ve already seen, Senator Cochran’s opposition will skew the truth to best serve himself, but the evidence paints a clearer picture of Thad’s work for our interests. Whether it’s been through his hard work on the Farm Bill, his service on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, or his fight against President Obama’s liberal agenda, Senator Thad Cochran has been a steady voice for Mississippi.

Some people were angered by language in the Agricultural Act of 2014 that continued Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, but they may not be fully informed. While the Farm Bill did continue funding of the program (informally called food stamps), it was not without reforms such as ensuring recipients are not receiving benefits in multiple states, ensuring illegal immigrants do not receive benefits, and closing the “heat-and-eat” loophole, among several others. In fact, as the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senator Cochran was able to include so much food stamp reform that Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow (the Ag Committee Chairwoman) received criticism from fellow Democrats for allowing the program to take such a hit.

Without a doubt, those who oppose the Agricultural Act of 2014 are not farmers from Mississippi. When Senator Thad Cochran attended the Delta Council’s annual event on May 30th, he received multiple standing ovations from the seventy-nine year old economic development organization. The constituents most closely connected to this year’s Farm Bill couldn’t have been more grateful for the Senator’s tireless work in getting the bill passed by a divided Congress and signed by a Democrat President.

When the average Mississippian hears the word “Appropriations,” the citizen either doesn’t know what it means or thinks “spending.” Inevitably, when we think about spending, we think about the gargantuan government debt. Let’s get the confusion out of the way; big time appropriations funding does not equal big time debt. It is important to remember that the Senate Committee on Appropriations decides where Federal funds go only after the Senate Committee on Budget has decided how much money will be spent.

If your mother makes a pie for you and your siblings and allows you to slice and serve it, wouldn’t you make sure your piece was as big as possible? That’s how Federal funding works, and as the longest-serving Republican Member on the Appropriations Committee, Thad Cochran is able to ensure that Federal monies are spent at Huntington-Ingalls on the Coast, the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Airbus Helicopters in Columbus, agricultural research facilities in the Delta, and the interstate highway infrastructure, among countless other projects throughout Mississippi.

Lastly, it is important to note that Senator Thad Cochran has voted against Affordable Care Act over 100 times. He’s never been in favor of Obamacare and never will be. We certainly shouldn’t forget that just last year, he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the repulsive resolution that was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress. It would be wise to refrain from believing that he’s ever voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act, when he’s voted for its defunding at every turn.

Congress was established to represent the citizens of our country and legislate on their behalf, and with a country as diverse as the United States, there will be multiple theories on how to best tackle any given dilemma. We live in a day of polarization, and our Congress will only be effective if it is composed of Members who know how to manufacture an agreement with others. After all, don’t we recall that the very birth of our Nation and writing of its Constitution required months upon months of debate and compromise?

There is only one candidate in this U.S. Senate race who is a proven leader and champion for our Mississippi, and there is only one candidate who is capable of reaching an agreement with others that pushes legislation through Congress and onto the President’s desk. That candidate is Thad Cochran.

Special to Y'all Politics

Harrison Matheny is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University, majoring in marketing with a minor in economics.


Posted June 16, 2014 - 8:21 am

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