Among the many provisions of the $1.4 trillion spending package the U.S. Senate sent to the president yesterday are items that will specifically benefit Mississippians in the South Delta.
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, called the two spending bills “solid” in a statement outlining the priorities in the bills for Mississippi. One of those priorities is completing the stalled Yazoo Pumps project.
“For Mississippi, these two measures 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.”
The bills allocate $375 million to flood control and navigation—some of which is designated to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “conduct work on remaining unconstructed features of authorized projects impacted by recent natural disasters, such as the Yazoo Backwater Area Pump Project,” the statement specified.
South Delta residents experienced historic levels of flooding this year for more than 200 days, in a combination of events that put nearly 550,000 acres under water. The flooded acreage including 220,000 acres of prime farmland. While the pumps wouldn’t have mitigated all the flooding, advocates say no homes would have flooded if they were installed and working, and about half of the farm acres would have remained productive.
A total of $1.5 billion has been allocated to agricultural disaster assistance to assist “producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019, which could benefit producers in the South Mississippi Delta,” the statement added.
Other priorities benefiting Mississippi in the bills include shipbuilding and funds for rural hospitals, among others.
The president is expected to sign the bills.here.