Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi has few equals in the art of tradeoffs

Last year, Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, then a member on the House Appropriations Committee, slipped language into the Defense Appropriations Bill that directed the U.S. government to award the research grant to Radiance Technologies.

This type of budget line item has become known on Capitol Hill as an earmark, and few in the 435-member House were better at the practice of earmarking federal dollars than Wicker. For fiscal year 2008, Wicker sponsored 42 earmarks totaling $159 million, ranking him among the House’s top spenders.

Commercial Appeal