Cochran eyes alternatives to earmarks

WASHINGTON — Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran said he’s frustrated that Congress has done away with the controversial earmarking procedure he and other lawmakers once used to steer money to their home states for military bases, schools and other programs.

But Cochran, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he’ll try to find other ways to send money to Mississippi as Congress takes on renewal of the farm bill, federal disaster funding and other issues.

“I can remember when you were applauded for getting an earmark … that benefitted your state,” Cochran said. “And now there’s a strong force on the side of the argument that earmarks add to the federal debt and should be avoided.”

Clarion Ledger