Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith Bio
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is a public servant committed to conservative principles as she works for all Mississippians. She is the first woman elected to represent Mississippi in Washington, D.C. She won a six-year term in November 2020, following her April 2018 appointment to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by long-time U.S. Senator Thad Cochran and subsequent November 2018 special election victory to complete his term.
In the 117th Congress, Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Committee on Rules and Administration.
On the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hyde-Smith serves on six subcommittees, including: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Financial Services and General Government, on which she serves as Ranking Member.
On the Agriculture Committee, Hyde-Smith serves on three subcommittees, including: Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade; Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources; and Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food Systems, and Food Safety and Security, on which she serves as Ranking Member.
On the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hyde-Smith also serves on three subcommittees, including: Energy; Public Lands, Forests, and Mining; and Water and Power, on which she serves as Ranking Member.
As Senator, Hyde-Smith has been active and successful in the legislative process to improve the overall quality of life for all Mississippians, using her committee assignments to support policies and legislation to benefit the state and nation.
The first bill she introduced as a Senator—the Migratory Bird Framework and Hunting Opportunities for Veterans Act to extend duck season to January 31 and establish a special weekend for youth, veterans, and active military—ultimately became law in March 2019 as part of a larger legislative package.
In her role on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Hyde-Smith has used her subcommittee positions and influence to benefit Mississippians and its economy in a variety of ways. The 12 annual appropriations bills she assisted in crafting for fiscal years 2019-2021 have supported funding for: Shipbuilding on the Gulf Coast; Mississippi’s strong defense and aerospace sectors; Mississippi agriculture; Rural broadband and rural health; and Border security, among other priority issues.
As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hyde-Smith was influential in the crafting and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which included provisions she authored pertaining to rural economic development, better crop insurance for flood-prone regions, Chronic Wasting Disease research, and forest health.
In early 2019, Hyde-Smith reinitiated the effort to address the catastrophic flooding in the Yazoo Backwater Area by securing commitments from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to revisit the previously vetoed project. Thereafter, Hyde-Smith helped secure funding for the Corps of Engineers to complete environmental review of a new Proposed Plan for the Yazoo Area Pump Project and to carry out pre-construction project engineering and related activities.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting public health emergency and economic crisis, Hyde-Smith established herself as a leader in helping to secure billions in funding for rural hospitals to address the coronavirus and to expand telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. She also worked to secure support for agriculture producers, food banks, and small businesses.
Hyde-Smith has a strong social conservative voting record and received an A plus rating for pro-life leadership from Susan B. Anthony List, as she continues to fight for life and especially against efforts to expand mail-order and do-it-yourself abortions. She is also a lifetime member of the NRA.
Prior to becoming a U.S. Senator for Mississippi, Hyde-Smith served as the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, elected in 2011 and reelected in 2015.
As Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Hyde-Smith worked to ensure fairness and equity in the marketplace and protect Mississippians through sound regulatory practices. She successfully streamlined government regulations to ease the financial burden on Mississippi farmers and small businesses. Highlights of her tenure were her efforts to reopen foreign markets for American beef exports, advocate for country-of-origin food labeling, and ensure that imported catfish meet USDA food safety standards. Under her leadership, the agency was recognized as a “model agency” for effectiveness and budget control. Hyde-Smith held agency spending growth below one percent her entire tenure.
Before leading the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Hyde-Smith served 12 years in the Mississippi State Senate, including eight years as chairman of the Agriculture Committee. As a legislator, Hyde-Smith championed policies to promote and protect all facets of the agriculture industry. She fought to protect private property rights, supported tort reform, and earned respect for her advocacy of conservative budget and pro-business initiatives.
As a U.S. Senator, Hyde-Smith has received the Award for Conservative Achievement from the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Hyde-Smith also received numerous awards and honors for her work as a state legislator and champion of agriculture, including the highest grade for a strong pro-business and fiscally conservative voting record from the Business and Industry Political Education Committee.
Additionally, Hyde-Smith has received the Agriculture Legislator of the Year Award from the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, the Ambassador Award from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, the Achievement Award from Delta Council, and the Outstanding Service to Small Farmers Award from Alcorn State University.
Hyde-Smith is a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi.
Hyde-Smith and her husband Mike have a daughter, Anna-Michael. They reside in Brookhaven and are active members of Macedonia Baptist Church. A fifth-generation farming family, the Senator’s family raises beef cattle and are partners in a local stockyard auction market in Brookhaven.