Money leaders to speak at funeral of former US Sen. Cochran

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Leaders of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, will speak at the funeral of former Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, a Republican who led the committee for several years and was known for working across party lines.

Cochran was 81 when he died Thursday at a veterans' nursing home in Oxford, Mississippi. He served in Washington 45 years, with the first six in the U.S. House and the rest in the Senate.

Coleman Funeral Home said visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the University of Mississippi Robert C. Khayat Law Center in Oxford.

One funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the state Capitol in Jackson, with Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaking. Cochran will lie in state until that evening in the Capitol rotunda, and the public may visit.

Another service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy will speak. Shelby is a Republican from Alabama. Leahy is a Democrat from Vermont, and he and Cochran traveled the globe together.

"Thad Cochran was a devoted public servant, a lion of the Senate, and one of my dearest friends," Leahy said in a statement Thursday. "Despite our political differences, I knew Thad held the interests of the people of Mississippi — and the country — close to his heart."

Cochran, as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, steered billions of dollars to Mississippi for universities, agriculture, and Hurricane Katrina recovery.

In written remarks as he retired from the Senate in March 2018, Cochran said he was particularly thankful for Leahy's friendship.

"He and I have fought side by side with each other; and sometimes face to face against each other, always with friendship and respect," wrote Cochran, who was the 10th longest-serving senator in U.S. history.

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