Sen. Thad Cochran helps steer 9th Coast Guard cutter to Mississippi

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran doesn’t believe that eight is enough.

The veteran Republican lawmaker is getting kudos and criticism for slipping a little-noticed provision into the omnibus spending bill that calls for the U.S. Coast Guard to build a ninth national security cutter ship in the Magnolia State.

The $640 million vessel will likely mean more work at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipbuilding operation in Pascagoula. Ingalls, the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company, already has delivered five cutters, and has three more under construction.