U.S Senator Roger Wicker was in Picayune on Friday and gave an update at the Picayune City Hall chambers. Wicker started the day at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, had lunch in the Kiln, and finished the day with his address in Picayune.
Senator Wicker told the audience about the progress under President Trump just one year into his presidency. Wicker said that the new tax proposal gave over 90% of Americans a pay increase and it also had legislation that eliminated the individual mandate that required Americans to choose one of the government sponsored health care plans under Obamacare or pay a fine. The repeal will become effective next year.
“We can do a lot better with health insurance than the Obamacare plan. We can do a lot better for families, a lot better for patients, and a lot more for sick people than this Obamacare plan that we’ve had, “ Wicker said.
Senator Wicker said he was very pleased that Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. Gorsuch was President Trump's pick to replace another conservative, Justice Antonin Scalia. Wicker said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the right decision to wait until after the election to see what the American people wanted and the election of Trump validated it to be a good decision. He also noted the record number of conservative circuit judges that have been confirmed under President Trump.
Senator Wicker said that President Trump said before being elected that he wanted to repeal two regulations for every new regulation put in place. Wicker said the reality is that under President Trump, the ratio is actually 12 to 1.
He added, “Repealing and lifting of regulations has opened the door for job creation and the stock market has responded in a positive manner.”
State Senator Angela Hill, Picayune City Councilperson Tammy Valente, Senator Wicker
Senator Wicker took questions from the crowd.
The first question was about President Trump’s infrastructure program.
“The President has proposed a very, very massive infrastructure plan of $1.5 trillion dollars. And the federal portion of that would only be $200 hundred billion dollars. One of the biggest parts of this plan is to streamline the permitting process and that would be a terrific thing,” Wicker responded. “I’m going to stand with President Trump. In fact, in terms of supporting President Trump, no senator in the whole one hundred has a higher percentage in supporting the president’s programs than I do.”
Senator Wicker said another big part of the plan is to get high speed internet to rural areas, much like Mississippi. Senator Wicker, who serves as chairman of the communications subcommittee, said he has a bill called the SPEED Act which would streamline the permitting process for high speed internet.
Senator Wicker said. “It is clear that President Trump wants a public private partnerships, the ‘three P’. While these partnerships work better in highly populated states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we’ve got to figure a way, like Governor Pence did when he was Governor of Indiana and find a way to make ‘three P’ work rural heartland. It’s a work in progress and I’m positive about it.”
A question about the failed Corp of Engineers Pearl River water diversion project was asked by State Senator Angela Hill. Wicker identified the project as failed as well and said that government projects do fail. Wicker said he supports a project to correct the flow of the water being diverted back to East Pearl River.
“I’ll say here and I’ll say it in Washington, I support fixing the situation with the Pearl River,” said Wicker. “The key for us down here is that the flow needs to be consistent.”
State Senator Hill told Wicker, “We have four million dollars setting in the state for this project and I’ve been guarding like a hawk.”