Appropriations Committee-Approved Bill Also Includes Benefits for Mississippi 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted with the Senate Appropriations Committee to approve a Homeland Security funding measure that places greater emphasis on border security and immigration enforcement than the current “border management” approach taken by the Biden administration.

The committee approved the FY2024 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill on a 24-4 vote, advancing the bill for full Senate consideration.  In addition to embracing the greater focus on border security and fighting the fentanyl crisis, Hyde-Smith indicated the Senate bill includes funding for homeland security and emergency response projects in Mississippi.

“Our Homeland Security Appropriations Bill reflects the facts that most Americans readily recognize—that there’s a crisis on our border and more needs to be done to secure it.  This bill begins to restore a necessary focus on border security and immigration enforcement, while adding resources to target the cartels and fentanyl trafficking” said Hyde-Smith, who has visited the southern border as part of her role on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

Funding is increased for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), providing for more than 1,100 new CBP and ICE personnel, added border surveillance technology, and increased removal operations resources.  It invests in CBP helicopters, planes and border patrol facilities, while also maintaining 34,000 detention beds, rejecting the President’s budget request to lower to them to 25,000 beds.

In a nod to the fentanyl toll on the nation, the bill recommends more than $3.1 billion to combat the transnational criminal organizations engaged in fentanyl trafficking, child exploitation, and human smuggling. 

Elsewhere, the bill provides $20.3 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund.  For the U.S. Coast Guard, it funds offshore patrol cutters and icebreakers, in addition to a 5.2 percent pay raise for Coast Guard military personnel.

Hyde-Smith worked to secure support for homeland and emergency preparedness projects in Mississippi.  Some of items of interest in the Senate measure include:
•    $2.2 million for the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Enhancing Electrical and Fire Infrastructure Resiliency project
•    $750,000 for the Greene County Emergency Operations Annex
•    $5 million for the Hinds County Safe Room project
•    $1.02 million for the Yazoo City Community Safehouse project
•    $1 million for the Purple Creek Flood Mitigation and Restoration project
•    $45 million for Light Enforcement Helicopters
•    $10 million for Long-Endurance Uncrewed Surface Vehicles

With the approval of the FY2024 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and three other measures on Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved all 12 annual funding bills for Senate consideration.  The start of the federal fiscal year is Oct. 1.

Read a committee summary here.