Cochran seeks millions for Mississippi-built cutter

WASHINGTON – Sen. Thad Cochran used his clout as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee last month to add $640 million to a spending bill for a ninth Coast Guard National Security Cutter to be built in his home state of Mississippi.

The Coast Guard, however, says it doesn’t need the ship and made that clear to lawmakers.

Cochran said he pushed to include the money in the fiscal 2016 Homeland Security appropriations bill because it’s “important to our national security.” The Appropriations Committee approved the spending bill June 18, and it now heads to the Senate floor.