Tags: thad cochran | senate | appropriations

GOP Sen. Thad Cochran's Future Uncertain

Image: GOP Sen. Thad Cochran's Future Uncertain
Cochran (AP/Desmond Boylan)

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 11:13 AM Current | Bio | Archive

A lot of buzz has been generated in D.C. over the long-serving GOP Sen. Thad Cochran. He is 80 years old, and after 45 years (six in the House and the last 39 in the Senate), he is the longest serving member of Congress.

Will Cochran resign from office soon, or simply resign as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee?

Speculation about Cochran began in September. The Mississippian missed Senate sessions for weeks at a time because of treatment for an infection. Cochran has not made a speech on the Senate floor all year and, when he returned to the Senate to support the tax reform bill, he gave no interviews.

Should Cochran resign before Jan. 1, a special election will be held within 100 days to fill the remainder of his term (which runs until 2020). If he waits until January, the special election will be held in November.

Republican sources in Jackson told Newsmax it is almost a foregone conclusion that, in the event of a Cochran exit, Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint fellow Republican and close friend Rep. Gregg Harper to the open Senate seat.

A former prosecuting attorney, Harper, 61, handily won the Magnolia State’s 3rd District in 2008 when veteran Republican Rep. Chip Pickering retired. He has a strongly conservative record and serves on the Republican Study Committee.

Other names mentioned for the appointment in the event of a Senate vacancy include Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and State Sen. Chris McDaniel, who narrowly lost a hard-fought primary to Cochran in 2014.

Last week, McDaniel told reporters he is considering a challenge to fellow GOP Sen. Roger Wicker in 2018 or a bid for Cochran’s seat should a special election be called.

If Cochran relinquishes the gavel of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, the next Republican senator in line for the chairmanship is Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama. For months, the Alabamian has been acting as the “de facto” chairman of the comittee, Senate sources say.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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A lot of buzz has been generated in D.C. over the long-serving GOP Sen. Thad Cochran. He is 80 years old, and after 45 years (six in the House and the last 39 in the Senate), he is the longest serving member of Congress.
thad cochran, senate, appropriations
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2017-13-26
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 11:13 AM
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