Wicker discusses US issues
by Chance Wright
Oct 11, 2012 | 1673 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sen. Roger Wicker talks about congressional issues.
Sen. Roger Wicker talks about congressional issues.
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U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, was the guest speaker Wednesday at Delta State University as part of the DSUVotes campaign geared at encouraging more students to hit the polls for the Nov. 6 general election.

Wicker, 60, of Tupelo served six years in the Mississippi Senate before his 13 years in the U.S. House.

He has been in the senate since 2007, when then-Gov. Haley Barbour appointed him after fellow Republican Trent Lott retired.

The appointment lasted only a few months but Wicker defeated Democratic former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in the November 2008 special election to fill the final four years of the term Lott started.

This year, Wicker is seeking a full six-year term and is working with a $2 million campaign fund, which is much greater than that of his democratic opponent, Albert Gore.

Gore is a retired minister from Starkville and not to be confused with the former vice president from Tennessee.

"Being so attuned to the issues of the Mississippi Delta, Sen. Wicker has been spending a good deal of time here very recently asking to hear our perspectives," said DSU President Dr. John Hilpert. "I have known him long enough to know that he takes these ideas and integrates them into his perspective in representing our interests."

Wicker, who often has criticized federal spending, opened up the program by discussing three distinct points of interest.

"The first point that I want to talk about today is the dysfunctional senate on which I serve," he said. "Just the other day, the New York Times said in an article that this senate is on course to be one of the least productive ones in memory.

"The Budget Act of 1974 says that each year the House shall take up a budget and the Senate shall take up a budget. This is not a suggestion it is a law. Both chambers are to take up a budget and meet in committees to iron out the differences and that is our blueprint for spending for the year.

"I say this because for the last three years our senate majority leader has simply not brought a budget to the senate floor," he continued. "It is the law that he do this and yet it simply has not been done. In my opinion, this is a problem."

Wicker continued to talk about how the budget process works with appropriations committees and program funding.

"Anyone want to guess how many appropriations bill have been brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate this year," Wicker asked. "The answer is a great big goose egg – zero.

"To me, that is a big failure of leadership." He added. "Now, perhaps we will take up these bills after the election, during the 'lame duck session' but more likely we will just bring forward the budget from last year without making additional policy decisions."

"You are looking at someone who serves in the senate and I am pleased and grateful to have had this opportunity, but also someone who is frustrated with the lack of product and the lack of following the rules and the laws."

The second point addressed by Wicker, which falls under much of the same ideals of the first, was based solely on today's economy.

"If ever we have needed to address our money bills, it's now," he said. "In the last four years, we have seen the national deficit grow from $10 trillion to $16 trillion. We have amassed a tremendous amount of debt that I wont see paid off in my life time and neither will many of you.

As another example, Wicker said that this year our nation's budget was set a $3.1 trillion. Of that amount, he said, the United States will borrow $1.3 trillion.

"We have built this debt and will likely leave it to our future generations to deal with it. It is what, is referred to by some in Congress, as generational debt.

"We have seen it grow to this point because we cannot seem to find a way to pay for all the things that we want. This should give us all the more reason to agree and stick to a budget for federal spending."

Wicker pointed out that the United States biggest lenders are China and Japan.

Wicker's third topic of discussion was the ability of the federal government to practice more bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship is defined as involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties.

Wicker said that the best example that he could give of bipartisanship is the Social Security Deal of 1983 between then President Ronald Reagan (R) and then House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D).

"We have to be able to extend ourselves beyond party affiliations for the betterment of our nation," he said. "Reagan and O'Neill were able to accomplish this with a deal that is still in practice today."

When asked on his thoughts of the upcoming presidential election, Wicker said that he is in support of Romney.

"I'm very much for Romney," Wicker concluded. "I think he is the right choice for the job and has just the kind of record to bring some sense to this economy and some sense to this bloated, overspending federal government."