Urges Federal Agencies Not to Make Government Shutdown More Difficult for the People

Audio of Senator Cochran’s Remarks:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today paid tribute to World War II veterans from Mississippi who overcame obstacles erected in Washington as part of the partial government shutdown and cautioned policy makers not to make the shutdown “more difficult than it has to be.”

In a speech to the Senate, Cochran saluted an Honor Flight contingent of more than 90 veterans and volunteers who flew to Washington Tuesday to visit the national World War II Memorial and other sites. Unfortunately, the open-air memorial had been barricaded to prevent visitors during the shutdown, which began at midnight. Reaching the Memorial, the Magnolia State group went through the shutdown barriers in order to visit the memorial and lay a wreath at the memorial’s “Mississippi” column.

“I take this opportunity to thank the veterans from our state for their calm, cool, and collected demeanor during what could have been a frustrating experience,” Cochran said. “I’m sure they will all receive a very warm welcome tonight when they return home to Gulfport.”

“I’m very pleased that the visit of these veterans to Washington was not ruined by the government shutdown, even though there were some obstacles. But I hope their experience reminds all of us—federal agencies, members of Congress, others who live here in the nation’s capital—to not make this situation more difficult than it has to be,” he said.

“I salute all veterans for their service to our nation and the access that they have achieved, even on a day where the agencies are ‘closed.’ There are certain premises that should remain open and are available for visitation and visibility” he said.

Prior to the group’s visit, Cochran’s office reached out to the National Park Service to request that the Mississippi World War II veterans be given access to the memorial, and recommended that the agency revise its barricade policy to accommodate upcoming Honor Flight delegations from other states this week.