2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Davis, Doxey, Dawkins, Lee (35th), Hewes, Moffatt, Lee (47th), Brown, Michel, Butler, Pickering, Clarke, Hyde-Smith, Robertson, Frazier, Ross, Walley, Flowers, Browning, Carmichael, Dearing, Gollott, Horhn, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Kirby, Little, Mettetal, Morgan, Nunnelee, Posey, Simmons, Thames, Thomas, Walls, White, Wilemon, Williamson
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND EXTENDING THE SINCERE THANKS OF THE LEGISLATURE TO U.S. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN THAD COCHRAN (R-MS) FOR SECURING CRITICAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE HURRICANE KATRINA DISASTER VICTIMS.
WHEREAS, it is difficult to overestimate the power of the Chairmanship of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee - currently held by senior U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS); and
WHEREAS, Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran announced on Sunday, December 18, 2005, that he had secured an agreement on legislation that would provide immediate assistance to hurricane recovery efforts. Cochran, on behalf of our state, negotiated the fiscal year 2006 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 2863), which includes $29 Billion in Community Development Block Grants for specific needs arising from Hurricane Katrina that are not covered by the Stafford Act. This $29 Billion includes funding for activities in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama ranging from homeowner assistance to social services; rebuilding of federal facilities in the affected areas; helping states which are housing evacuees; and replenishing the accounts of federal agencies which have been involved in the recovery. (The White House had requested $17 Billion in aid for hurricane recovery efforts); and
WHEREAS, "This is a big victory for Katrina disaster victims," said Senator Cochran. "This legislation will accelerate and improve the recovery from the damages caused by the hurricanes"; and
WHEREAS, with his elevation to the Appropriations Committee chair, Thad Cochran joins Mississippi congressional legends like the late U.S. Senator John Stennis, who chaired that committee before him, and the late U.S. Representative Jamie Whitten, who chaired the House Appropriations Committee for many years; and
WHEREAS, Mississippi's hopes for getting the billions in Hurricane Katrina relief that Governor Haley Barbour had identified as the state's minimum possible need depended on Cochran's ability to force Congress to use his chairmanship as Stennis and Whitten did before him. Indeed, Senator Cochran utilized such a strategy in attaching a Katrina relief package for the Gulf Coast as a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Defense appropriations bill to pay for the war in Iraq. This package contained Community Development Block Grants to help many Mississippi homeowners who were denied coverage due to the "wind-versus-water" insurance argument, which is a solid plan for our state's economic recovery and meets human needs; and
WHEREAS, the rest of the state's congressional delegation rallied behind Cochran's plan, but most of all, the plan's success depended on Cochran's personal resolve to make it happen; and
WHEREAS, in 1978, Thad Cochran was elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first Republican in over 100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi. He was reelected in 1984 with over 60% of the votes, in 1990 he was unopposed, and in 1996 he was reelected to a fourth term in the Senate with over 70% of the votes; and
WHEREAS, prior to this term, Senator Cochran has served as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. He currently serves as Chairman of the full Appropriations Committee and as a member of the Rules Committee. His legislative record includes the sponsorship of the National Missile Defense Act of 1999, the Campaign Finance Reform Act, as well as key provisions of several farm bills. He authored the Mississippi Wilderness Act, which is the first federal legislation ever passed for the perpetual protection of lands in the State of Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, Senator Cochran has been awarded honorary degrees from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Mississippi College, Blue Mountain College and the University of Richmond. He is a member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and the Board of the Museum of American History. He is a member of Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. He and his wife the former Rose Clayton of New Albany, Mississippi, have two grown children and two grandsons; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this outstanding achievement by our state's senior statesman, whose leadership was critical to relieve the suffering of Mississippians residing on the Gulf Coast and to rebuild the economy and infrastructure of the region:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and extend the sincere thanks of the Legislature to U.S. Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) for his leadership in securing critical financial assistance to the Hurricane Katrina disaster victims, and for his continued influence in assisting our state as we rebuild and recover from this most terrible disaster.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Senator Cochran and forwarded to members of Mississippi's congressional delegation and be made available to members of the Capitol Press Corps.