GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Senator Roger Wicker was on the campaign trail Wednesday, stumping for votes in downtown Gulfport. Among the issues topping the senator's agenda is energy independence.
"There's no shortage of oil and gas in the United States of America, there's just a shortage of oil and gas that we're allowed to drill. Oil and gas production, we know in Mississippi, is a huge job creator. If we can create jobs and bring down the price of gasoline, that's the type of policies the American people want answers to this year," Senator Wicker said.
The republican also stressed that energy independence is tied to the country's national security. He pointed to the recent conflict involving Russia and Georgia, saying energy independence will make the U.S. less vulnerable in future conflicts.
From national security to the national budget, Wicker said the agenda is rather long.
"The best way to tackle the budget is to grow our way back toward a surplus."
When it comes to medicare, social security and veterans' programs, Senator Wicker said it's important to protect them and figure out where they fit into the ballooning budget.
"We need to have an honest discussion about how we can slow the growth rate of these programs. And that is essential to eventually getting back to a balanced budget," Senator Wicker said.
Katrina recovery is still an important topic in South Mississippi. Wicker said, just weeks ago, he introduced new legislation to help the coast do just that.
"The legislation would provide tax credits to do two things, to encourage people in the Hurricane path to refurbish their house up to standards, and also a tax credit to help them pay for the increased hurricane insurance."