/Wicker to oversee internet privacy, broadband, NASA and interstate trade as new Commerce chairman

Wicker to oversee internet privacy, broadband, NASA and interstate trade as new Commerce chairman

Mississippi Today was informed by a senior senator that Wicker had been appointed two hours prior to Wicker’s appointment. He said that the United States needed a uniform standard for internet privacy. Wicker stated that the policy is supported by both parties, contrary to the ongoing dispute over funding for southern border security. This has led to a partial government shutdown. “I believe there is a general consensus between the House and Senate–Republican or Democrat–that one standard should be used for all of America and not a patchwork of California, Nevada, Colorado, and California.” California passed a new broad internet privacy law in the wake of revelations that Facebook and other internet companies had sold user data without their consent last spring. Massachusetts and other states are considering similar legislation. Members of Congress and the heads of these companies argue that it would be difficult to regulate these laws across states without a single policy for the whole country. It would be up to Congress and the president signing this bill what the level privacy will be. It’s going to become a big issue,” Wicker said to Mississippi Today. According to Wicker, the commerce committee will have a “wide-ranging jurisdiction” over many areas of government–including broadband, air travel and railroads, interstate commerce, aerospace and NASA–that could benefit Mississippians. Wicker stated that he will use his new chairmanship in order to direct resources to the state and fund projects. It’s good news for Mississippi, but it’s also good for the United States. Wicker stated that rural broadband expansion is beneficial for America’s heartland, but also helps Mississippi. This is crucial for Mississippi, which lost Sen. Thad Cchran last spring after 46 years of service in Congress. Cochran was the Senate Appropriations Committee’s chair. He steered millions of federal dollars to Mississippi, which is more dependent on federal funds than any other state. This includes last year’s $930m ship-building contract and a $29B Katrina relief package. Although Trent Lott, Mississippi’s former Senate Majority Leader, acknowledged that Wicker will not have the same financial power as Cochran, he stated that Commerce’s broad jurisdiction makes it “one the best committees of the Senate.” “Now it isn’t Chairman of Appropriations. It is not the Chairman of Finance. It’s chicken feed, but it’s not Chairman of Finance. It’s quite good,” Lott said to Mississippi Today Tuesday. Cindy Hyde Smith, Mississippi’s junior senator said that she is optimistic Wicker’s chairship will continue to be beneficial for the state. He is clearly very sensitive to the state’s needs and I believe he will be a great chair. Hyde-Smith stated that he believes he will be objective. “He sees both the national and state needs.”_x000D