Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, who has spent 40 years in the Senate, has chosen to resign from office effective April 1st, citing health problems. The 80-year old Senator has had spotty attendance over the past year, only coming in for certain important votes.
According to The Washington Post, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who will choose the replacement for Cochran, was told by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump that he should fill in the vacancy. It is unclear if he will take the position or appoint someone else.
Cochran has served his time in office as a Republican, but has a voting record similar to many Democrats. FreedomWorks compiled a list of his top ten worst votes, which we will list below to help you make an informed decision on how excited you should be with his decision:
1. Thad Cochran Voted to Let Harry Reid Fund ObamaCare
(2013, Roll Call Vote 206) Senator Cochran voted to end debate and allow Senate Democrats to re-insert funding for ObamaCare into the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. Although Cochran did vote against the final bill, he and all Republicans knew that voting for cloture to end debate would allow Senator Harry Reid to fund ObamaCare by a party-line vote, and thus a vote for cloture was a de facto vote to fund ObamaCare.
2. Thad Cochran Voted for Medicare Part D
(2003, RCV 457) Senator Cochran voted to pass Medicare Part D, a massive entitlement expansion that conservatives rightly predicted would tremendously expand the deficit and add trillions of dollars in long term unfunded liabilities to the federal deficit.
3. Thad Cochran Voted for the Federal Takeover of Education
Senator Cochran has been in the Senate long enough to have voted to help President Carter establish the Department of Education in 1979 (RCV 70). Since its foundation, the Education Department has spent hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ education dollars on expanding its own federal bureaucracy, while American educational performance has plummeted. Cochran later voted to double down on federal control of education by voting for No Child Left Behind’s failed mandated test regime (2001, RCV 192).
4. Thad Cochran Voted for the Fiscal Cliff Tax Hike
(2012, RCV 251) Senator Cochran voted for the infamous New Year’s Day 2013 “fiscal cliff” deal that raised taxes on 77 percent of U.S. households, with extra tax hikes on higher income earners.
5. Thad Cochran Repeatedly Voted Against Banning Congressional Earmarks
As a long-time appropriator, Senator Cochran is a legendary earmarker who has repeatedly voted against attempts to ban earmarks, even temporarily. (2008, RCV 75; 2010, RCV 50; 2012, RCV 8) Cochrane even voted against an amendment to specifically eliminate the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska (2005, RCV 262). Although the sponsors of earmarks are notoriously hard to pin down, Legistorm reported that just from 2008-2010, Cochran requested nearly $3 billion worth of earmarks.
6. Thad Cochran Has Repeatedly Voted for Big Agriculture’s Corporate Welfare and Food Stamp Bill
Senator Cochran has voted multiple times over the years to renew the corporate welfare and food stamp entitlement abomination commonly called “the Farm Bill”. For years, these bills have paid tens of billions in taxpayer dollars mostly to large farm corporations, with huge carve-outs for the industries with the best lobbies in Washington. Cochran voted for the particularly bloated Farm Bill in 2002 (RCV 103), voted to pass the 2008 version over President Bush’s veto (RCV 151), and most recently voted for the 2013 renewal (RCV 141), which created a brand new crop insurance entitlement program.
7. Thad Cochran Voted to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage
(2007, RCV 42) Senator Cochran voted for the Fair Minimum Wage Act that increased the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour in 2007. Raising the minimum wage is a bad idea because it reduces employment, especially among low-skilled workers. The cost of raising the minimum wage is passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services.
8. Thad Cochran Voted against Fiscally Conservative Budgets
Senator Cochran voted against several of the best, most fiscally conservative budgets ever proposed in the United States Senate. He voted against Senator Mike Lee of Utah’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal to balance the budget in five years and save $7 trillion over ten years. (2012, RCV 101) He has also voted against all three of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky’s budget proposals, from FY 2011-2013, to balance the budget in five years and save more than $8 trillion over ten years. (2011, RCV 80; 2012, RCV 100; 2013, RCV 69)
9. Thad Cochran Voted for the Ineffective “Super Committee” Debt Hike
(2011, RCV 123) Senator Cochran voted for the Budget Control Act, which allowed President Obama to raise the debt ceiling by over $2 trillion. In return, taxpayers got stuck with the “super-committee”, which failed to come up with any agreement on targeted spending cuts and gave us the across-the-board sequestration cuts instead.
10. Thad Cochran Voted for an Internet Sales Tax
(2013, RCV 113) In 2013, Senator Cochran voted for the “Marketplace Fairness Act”, which would allow states to levy an internet sales tax that would be collected on transactions made in other states. Allowing states to tax across state borders violates the physical presence standard that has governed tax collection since our founding, and would result in taxation without representation for the businesses that collect the taxes.
Big League Politics will keep you updated on this story.