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Choosing Congress

MBJ Editorial

After intense speculation in Washington and Mississippi, Third District Congressman Chip Pickering eased his constituents’ minds with the announcement last week that he would turn down a job offer in the private sector.

Pickering had an opportunity to take the influential and lucrative position of president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, a job, according to reports, which pays $1 million year. It’s a sum considerably higher than the average congressman’s salary.

In a July 2nd statement, the fourth-term Republican said: “This past week, my family and I did feel an obligation to have a serious discussion about this opportunity, and to consider the impact on our five boys. I will continue serving the people of Mississippi which is a great honor, duty and privilege. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and my family.”

And Pickering deserved the support of his district — friend and foe alike. While our elected representatives do have an obligation to carry out their responsibilities, advocate our interests and concerns, as well as provide leadership at the national level, we might have a better Congress if more of its members did occasionally consider — and take — job offers from business and industry. Government is government, and business is business. However, both offer lessons to the other in how to get things done.

While it’s good for Mississippi to have a congressman like Chip Pickering, he shouldn’t be criticized for considering other possibilities.

After all, that’s how this great nation we have works: seeing opportunities, seizing them and moving forward — always forward.

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