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Sen. Lott (R-Miss.) Announces He Will Resign By the Year's End

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But I do think that it's time for Mississippi to elect a new person, a younger person. We have had a very good history in Mississippi of electing young people to office, usually in their forties, and them staying there 20, 30, 40 years. Served us well.

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And we also, fortuitously, we've been able to stagger the terms, where while one had seniority, like my colleague Thad Cochran, another begins to build that seniority. So the day comes that Thad makes this announcement, we'll have a person that'll be then an experienced legislator with some seniority built up. And so that is a factor that has entered into my mind.

But I just want to say, in conclusion, thank you to the people of Mississippi and to all of you here in this room and to people all across the state for the great honor and opportunity of serving this state. I've loved it, and I hope that I've helped make a positive difference.

Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Let me take a couple of questions -- or some questions from the media, if you have some you'd like to have me respond to.

QUESTION: What role does the new law that says you can't lobby as of January 1st, 2008, for two years, if you were to resign by then, have on your decision to resign now?

LOTT: It didn't have a big role in that decision. You know, there are limits on that already. And, as I've talked to my former colleagues, they say that a lot of what you do anyway is involved with consulting rather than direct lobbying.

But a lot of what affected the timing here was -- you remember, Trish and I had planned on retiring in 2006, and we made it clear. And I struggled with that decision and made the announcement right here that I decided I had to run again because the people I loved the most in the world were struggling so much with Katrina, we wanted to -- you know, we just had work to do. And I couldn't get it all done by the end of 2005.

It took some time in 2006 to pass the appropriations bills, the tax code changes, the GO Zone, the Medicaid changes, to change the Stafford Act, which affects FEMA, and a lot of work needed to be done. And most of that has been done.

Now, I want to make it clear, it's still going to be a while, obviously, before we get through all the aftermath of Katrina. But the legislation that needed, for the most part, to be put on the books has been completed.


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