As Senate Appropriator, Hyde-Smith Worked to Secure Funding for Mississippi Priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today supported Senate passage of two FY2020 appropriations packages with critical funding for national defense, border security, and programs of importance to Mississippians.

The Senate on Thursday voted to send President Trump two legislative vehicles to complete the FY2020 process to fund federal programs.  The President has indicated he will sign both bills, which comply with the discretionary spending limits set in the Bipartisan Budget Act signed into law last August.

“These bills are solid, and they will benefit the nation and Mississippi,” Hyde-Smith said.  “The partisan split between the Senate and House presented an added challenge to getting these bills done in a timely and fiscally-responsible manner, but final outcome is worthy of support.”

“The bills being sent to the President fit within our spending constraints but includes needed funding increases for our military and homeland security,” she said.  “For Mississippi, these two measure represent a vote of confidence in Mississippi shipbuilding and aircraft manufacturing. It also supports agriculture and flood control in Mississippi, in addition to programs to support rural hospitals and rural development.”

In the yearlong effort to complete the FY2020 bills, Hyde-Smith worked to advocate priorities for Mississippi, as well as the nation.  Notably, the finished product includes these priorities:

  • National Defense – $22 billion increase in defense spending to continue rebuilding the nation’s military, including 3.1 percent pay increase, the largest in a decade, for military personnel;
  • Border Security – Transfer authorities for the border wall and immigration enforcement, and provides $1.375 billion for the border wall system;
  • Shipbuilding – $100.5 million increase in U.S. Coast Guard funding for long lead time materials on a 12th National Security Cutter (NSC), in addition to millions in U.S. Navy procurement funds for  LHA-9 amphibious assault ship, LPD amphibious warship, Arleigh Burke Class DDG-51 Flight III ships—all of which have been built in Mississippi;
  • Flood Control and Navigation – $375 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries flood control, navigation, and dredging projects, in addition to language allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use these funds conduct work on remaining unconstructed features of authorized projects impacted by recent natural disasters, such as the Yazoo Backwater Area Pump Project;
  • Agriculture Disaster Assistance – $1.5 billion in additional U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster assistance to assist agriculture producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, which could benefit producers in the South Mississippi Delta who alone suffered more than $800 million in damages due to catastrophic flooding in 2019.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Response – $9 million, not less than $5 million of which is for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to allocate directly to state departments of wildlife and state departments of agriculture to further develop and implement CWD surveillance, testing, management, and response activities.  These funds will be used for the purposes outlined in Hyde-Smith’s DEER Act (S.613).
  • Rural Hospitals – $500 million for USDA Community Facilities Guaranteed Loans, providing sufficient funding to trigger Hyde-Smith provision in the 2018 Farm Bill that would provide credit to rural hospitals in communities with up to 50,000 residents.
  • Workforce Training – Funding through the departments of Agriculture, Education, Labor, and Transportation to support workforce development, including $30 million for a Labor Department Rural Workforce Training Initiative to provide workforce training assistance for individuals who have lost jobs in the Appalachian and Delta regions.  Mississippi received funding this year for three programs in Batesville, Water Valley, and Raymond.
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – $12 million for the FAA UAS Center of Excellence led by Mississippi State University, as well as resources through the Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for UAS development projects involving Mississippi universities and other entities. 

A broader review of items of interest to Mississippi included in HR.1158, the Consolidated National Security Bill (1.  Defense; (2.  Commerce, Justice, Science; (3.  Financial Services and General Government; and (4.  Homeland Security is available here.

A separate review of items of interest to Mississippi in HR.1865, the Consolidated Domestic and International Assistance Bill (1.  Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration; (2.  Energy and Water Development; (3.  Interior and Environment; (4.  Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; (5.  Legislative Branch; (6. Military Construction-VA; (7.  State and Foreign Operations; and (8.  Transportation and Housing and Urban Development is available here.