Miss. Senator Says Final Measure Includes Provisions Targeting Radical Biden Energy, Environment Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today supported final passage of an appropriations bill that will make investments in Mississippi water systems, wastewater infrastructure, and unique cultural projects.

Hyde-Smith voted to send the FY2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill to the White House to be signed into law.  This measure, which passed as part of a six-bill package, provides resources for the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other agencies. 

“For Mississippi, I’m pleased that this bill will provide funding for important projects that the President’s budget either excluded or underfunded, especially wastewater improvement projects throughout the state,” Hyde-Smith said.

“Overall, the negotiations to reach an agreement on the Interior appropriations measure resulted in better policy with targeted spending cuts totaling more than $1.5 billion and rejecting Biden administration policies to impede American oil and gas production.  We cut EPA by nearly 10 percent, including burdensome regulatory programs,” the Senator said.

Among the items of interest to Mississippi in the FY2024 Interior Appropriations Bill:

  • $1.011 million for three historical site restoration and museum collection projects authorized by the National Park Service.
  • $41.77 million for critical wastewater improvement projects throughout the state, including the Clinton/Bolton/Raymond area, Natchez, Moss Point, Vicksburg, Copiah Water Association, Greenville and Tunica County.
  • $1.5 million for the Mississippi State University (MSU) Forest Products Laboratory to optimize biomass commercialization, including lumber standards, mass timber construction, and durability.
  • $19 million and language for U.S. Forest Service International Programs and Trade Compliance, which operates in strong partnership with MSU. 
  • $3 million for The University of Mississippi’s Acoustic Diagnostics for Prescribed Fire Management Project.
  • $49.0 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, a critical program for duck hunters.
  • $28.2 million for the U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Research Units program, which is utilized by MSU. 
  • Language supporting the Natchez National Historic Park designation of two sites as an Affiliated Area after the completion of a National Park Service reconnaissance study.

These are significant policy provisions also included in the measure:

  • Makes more than $1.5 billion in targeted cuts to approximately 280 programs, relative to FY2023 spending levels.
  • Rejects policy provisions included in the President’s budget request that would have reduced domestic energy production, driven up oil and gas prices, and increased U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
  • Includes language to protect public access for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on federal lands.
  • Retains all legacy riders, including exempting farmers and livestock producers from burdensome greenhouse gas reporting and permitting requirements.

Overall, the FY2024 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill adheres to the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 which capped discretionary funding and made other reforms to reduce the budget deficit by roughly $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.