Though he is too humble to say it himself, Sen. Thad Cochran has been Mississippi’s conservative Republican champion in Washington well before others even ran for office as a Republican. When others refused to stand up to the Democrats, Thad Cochran ran and won a statewide election as a Republican – the first person in Mississippi to do so since Reconstruction. He ran as a Republican when it was not an easy thing to do because he is a man of principle. Among those principles is a steadfast belief in the right to life.
There is a difference between talking about defending life and actually getting something accomplished. Perhaps the single most important pro-life policy to come out of Washington in the last 40 years is known as the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions. Through his role on the Appropriations Committee, Senator Cochran has been a strong supporter of the Hyde Amendment, ensuring that it remains in yearly appropriations bills, thus sparing Mississippi taxpayers from having their hard earned dollars spent on abortions.
In addition to legislating, one of the most important ways a senator can protect the rights of the unborn is to support pro-life nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Cochran stepped up and helped President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush, and President George W. Bush steer constitutional, pro-life candidates through the confirmation process in the United States Senate. When liberals smeared the reputations of good men like Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito, Senator Cochran stood with these justices and ensured they were successfully confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
One of the most egregious character assassinations in the history of the Senate took place against one of our own, Judge Charles Pickering. Liberals in the Senate derailed Judge Pickering’s nomination to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by distorting his record on civil rights. Thad Cochran fought them every step of the way and strongly encouraged President Bush to give Judge Pickering a recess appointment, which he did.
Obamacare became law over the strenuous opposition of Thad Cochran and the Republican minority in Congress. The legislation broke longstanding tradition and included taxpayer subsidies for health insurance plans that cover abortions. In response, Thad co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in 2011. He is also a co-sponsor of a bill that would require every health plan offered on an Obamacare insurance exchange to disclose any coverage of abortion in the plan’s marketing and advertising materials. The National Right to Life strongly supports this legislation and gives Senator Cochran a 100 percent rating in the 113th Congress for his fight on behalf of unborn children.
Senator Cochran has carried the pro-life banner for Mississippi from the moment he stepped into office. Anybody who tries to tell you Thad Cochran is not pro-life is just not telling you the truth.
Thad Cochran has spent his adult life in service to the state of Mississippi. He always puts us first and stands up for our values. Part of that effort includes tireless advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable Mississippians, the unborn. He has more than earned the support of all pro-life Mississippians for another term in the Senate.
That is just one of the many reasons I am strongly supporting Thad Cochran’s re-election campaign. I know he will continue being a strong voice for pro-life policies.
We must keep leaders with the right experience and values standing up for Mississippi, and that is why I encourage you to support Thad Cochran in this upcoming June 3 Republican Primary election.
Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, represents Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.