Thursday, March 27, 2014

Top Mississippi Republican Wants More Federal Spending

At a hearing with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Republican Sen. Roger Wicker expressed his frustration that Mississippi does not receive its fair share of federal government spending from the EPA to comply with guidelines set by the agency.
The Southeast—the region that the Mississippi Republican senator calls home—has 20 percent of the nation's people. But when it comes time for the administration to dole out cash for a clean-air program, the Southeast only gets 12 percent of the program's funding, Wicker said.
And so, when Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy came before Congress to testify Wednesday, Wicker finally got a chance to vent his frustration. "How can EPA continue to develop strict new rules and standards while at the same time limiting access to resources for the states to get their fair share?," Wicker asked.
Grilling administration witnesses is standard fare for opposition party senators, but this time, Wicker's interrogation didn't go as planned.
Asked why the administration is giving EPA the short end of the stick, McCarthy's answer was simple: Because you are making us do it that way.
First, Wicker seemed surprised by the response of the Administrator. As we have noted, Wicker has been in Congress for nearly 20 years. It is mind blowing that he feigns outrage over a question it has taken him 20 years to ask.

Second, a recent report shows that Mississippi receives over $3.00 for every $1.00 paid in income taxes. That accounts for roughly 55 percent of our state's budget! For all the talk that our state's Republican leaders give about not spending money we do not have, they sure seem determined to ignore their own advice at every opportunity.

This is a prime example of the debate that is currently being waged between Wicker's colleague Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Wicker seems to be arguing McDaniel's case for him.

If we are to read between the lines of Sen. Wicker's comments, the Mississippi Tea Party should be outraged that Wicker seems be abandoning his conservative values by asking for more EPA federal spending in the state. I can see it now: "Tea Party State Senator Challenges Roger Wicker in 2018. Hilarity Ensues."

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