Clearly, the 2018 retirement of 45-year veteran Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran — who held the vastly influential post of Senate Appropriations Committee chairman — represents a tremendous loss of clout for the state. Republicans and Democrats alike statewide recognize that fact.
Couple that loss with the decision by Republican congressional leaders in 2011 to do away with the practice of congressional “earmarks” (allowing lawmakers to direct spending to specific projects in their home states and districts) and Mississippi’s longstanding ability to attract federal funding for a myriad of state projects is significantly impaired.
It’s unlikely all the military bases in Mississippi would still be open without the clout Salter writes about.
The fact it will be years–if ever–before the state regains lost seniority in Congress will be a threat to the state economy for a long time.