The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 10/14/8

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker says he makes no apologies for fighting to obtain earmarks for Mississippi and said it is an issue on which he disagrees with John McCain, his party’s nominee for president.

During a 70-minute interview with the Daily Journal editorial board Monday, Wicker defended earmarks as a way of generating economic growth. As an example, Wicker cited his work as a congressman in obtaining federal funds for Fulton to replace a dwindling groundwater supply with a surface water system.

“A small amount of federal money kept the economic engine running for all of Itawamba County,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier to help do that.”

The issue of earmarks has come up in the current election cycle, with McCain saying he would eliminate the practice of members of the House and Senate adding pet projects onto legislation.

As a member of the U.S. House from 1995 until this past year, Wicker has touted his ability to obtain earmarks for the 1st Congressional District. Wicker was appointed to the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31 to replace Trent Lott, who stepped down.

As a member of the Senate, Wicker said, he has continued to work to obtain earmarks that helped create jobs in Mississippi.