FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Sam R. Hall
Communications Director
Office: (601) 969-2913
Cell: (601) 832-8909
sam.hall@msdemocrats.net

Pickering, Wicker fail Mississippians

Pickering flip-flops while Wicker consistently votes
against assistance programs for neediest Mississippians

Republican Reps. Chip Pickering and Roger Wicker failed Mississippians with their votes to cut programs such as Head Start, Medicaid, Community Development Block Grants, college grants for students and other beneficial programs.

"This is an embarrassment," said State Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy. "The programs Republicans have targeted are vital to the poorest amongst us. We now know exactly where our Republican congressmen stand on helping the poor and the middle class in Mississippi. They stand against it."

Pickering showed he is a political opportunist by flip-flopping on budget bills in a matter of hours. On Thursday evening, Pickering joined a number of Republicans in voting with Democrats to defeat a bill that underfunded necessary assistance programs.

But later Thursday night, Pickering voted with his party and against his state for a bill that cuts $50 billion in financial assistance to the poor and the middle class.

"It just goes to show you that some people can only do the right thing when they feel it is politically safe to do so," Dowdy said.

Wicker, however, voted against the poor and the middle class both times by voting for the funding bill and for the program cuts, essentially seeking to underfund certain programs and severely cut others.

Dowdy praised Mississippi's two Democratic congressmen for their votes.

"Congressmen Gene Taylor and Bennie Thompson showed their unwavering support for the needs of Mississippians by voting against both of these two unconscionable bills," Dowdy said. "It is just another example of how Democrats will stand up for the values of the poor and the middle class while Republicans will continue to cater to the rich and the powerful."

Republicans passed the Deficit Reduction Act under the guise of saying it must be done to help pay for rebuilding efforts in areas effected by Hurricane Katrina. Congressman Taylor assailed such an idea.

"This is the cruelest lie of all: That the only way you can help people who have lost everything is by hurting somebody else," Taylor told reporters.

Dowdy said that Congress has yet to provide relief funding for homeowners on the coast. In addition, Dowdy pointed to Senate action on Friday where Republicans passed $60 billion in tax cuts.

"What you basically have here are Republicans cutting programs aimed at the poor and the middle class so they can pass more tax cuts aimed at the rich," Dowdy said. "It's been the Republican leadership in Congress and the Bush Administration that has led to the massive deficit our nation now faces. Continued tax cuts that aid the rich and program cuts that hurt the poor and the middle class will only continue to harm our nation."

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How many Mississippians will be effected:

  • 64,664: Number of Mississippians who receive loans for college.
  • 707,986: Number of Mississippians were enrolled in the Medicaid program.
  • 7,200: Number of people who will be cut from Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • 2,100: Number of people who will be cut from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program
  • 800: Number of students who will be cut from Head Start programs
  • 500: Number of housing vouchers lost

How much money will Mississippi lose in 2006:

  • $16.1 million: Losses to Education for the Disadvantaged
  • $7.4 million: Losses to Special Education Programs
  • $2.4 million: Losses to School Improvement Programs
  • $989,000: Losses to Vocational and Adult Education Programs
  • $1.9 million: Losses to the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • $1.3 million: Losses to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC)
  • $14.9 million: Losses to Children and Family Services (Head Start and Services for Abused/Neglected Children)
  • $1.36 million: Losses to the Child Care Assistance Program
  • $110 million: Losses in federal Child Support Collections (over 10 years)
  • $300,000: Losses to HIV/AIDS research and treatment funding
  • $767,000: Losses to Maternal and Child Care Health Block Grant
  • $3.63 million: Losses in Community Development Block Grants
  • $2.4 million: EPA Clean Water/Drinking Water State Revolving Funds

Statistics based on state-by-state discretionary spending totals from the Congressional Budget Office. For complete state-by-state and national data, click here.

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Mississippi Democratic Party * 832 North Congress Street, Jackson, MS 39202
(601) 969-2913 * Fax: (601) 354-1599 * www.msdemocrats.net


Paid for by the Mississippi Democratic Party, 832 North Congress Street, Jackson, MS 39202, (601) 969-2913
and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.