Wicker Making Government Work For Mississippians

March 25, 2024

In most weekly reports, I discuss issues facing our state. But this week, I want to share about another rewarding aspect of my job.

As your U.S. Senator, I regularly travel statewide to hear from teachers, civic groups, business councils, elected leaders, and military officials. Mississippians also frequently visit my staff in-person at four offices, located in Hernando, Tupelo, Jackson, and Gulfport. These meetings allow me to learn residents’ priorities and play my part to solve problems they are experiencing.

Making Government Work for Mississippians

Last year, my staff and I handled more than 2,500 assistance cases, in which we helped Mississippians having trouble with federal agencies. Constituents can always contact me to get assistance with passports, understand veterans’ benefits, navigate the Social Security Administration, or cut through other red tape. Government should work for its citizens, and I am committed to making sure it does.

Advocating for Mississippians’ Priorities

All over the state, community members, local officials, and business leaders are developing projects that will positively impact their neighbors. It is my job to tap into that potential by looking for ways the federal government can help with some of these initiatives. That advocacy begins with the budget process, which starts in Congress at the beginning of each year.

Over the period of a month, I typically meet with representatives from every corner of Mississippi. Municipal and county leaders and I discuss transportation, water, and economic development projects. I also speak with groups promoting housing, education, agriculture, and banking.

Introducing American History to the Rising Generation

It has been spring break season, and many families have taken the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital. My office regularly hosts a get-together for these guests. Over coffee and sausage biscuits, we converse and take photos. Other members of our congressional delegation have attended from time to time. We fondly call this event “Mississippi Morning,” and, over the years, it has cultivated friendly reunions, constituent services, and even legislative ideas.

After Mississippi Morning, families will often enjoy a tour of the U.S. Capitol. My staff lead many of these tours, and they highlight the history packed into the hallways, paintings, and statues of the world’s largest symbol of democracy.

Last year, my office coordinated over 1,000 of these tours. This was just a fraction of more than 47,000 interactions we had with constituents in 2023. I was also glad to help over 700 Mississippians place orders for American flags flown over the U.S. Capitol building. Many people use these flags to honor loved ones, commemorate special occasions, or simply express their patriotism.

One example of special groups that visit was last week, when the Gautier High School band performed on the Capitol lawn. These exemplary young musicians made Mississippi proud. They blessed the National Mall with renditions of familiar tunes, including “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”

I make it a habit to invite students like these to participate directly in our government. I sponsor Mississippians who want to join the U.S. Senate page program, which offers high school juniors the chance to assist with the operations of the U.S. Senate floor. My offices also host interns. These college-age students help my staff conduct research and hear constituent requests. Through these opportunities, young people get an up-close experience of the American legislative system.

It is my privilege to represent this great state. I am grateful to make government work for our people, to bring federal resources to local projects, and to help introduce young people to our history.