U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is urging the Biden administration to submit a new funding request to Congress to help resolve the ongoing water crisis in Mississippi’s capital city.
In order to avoid a government shutdown, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) submitted a request for Congress to include an additional $47.1 billion in the must-pass legislation for Ukraine, COVID-19, monkeypox, and recent natural disasters affecting California, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas.
Senator Hyde-Smith found fault in this initiative given there was no mention of Jackson’s current water emergency to be found in OMB’s request.
“The same day that the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator and other White House officials traveled to Mississippi to ‘ensure’ Jackson had everything needed to restore its water quality, OMB submitted an emergency funding request addressing a host of issues deemed critical by the Biden administration. The City of Jackson was not included,” Hyde-Smith said. “Jackson’s water crisis is nothing short of a full-blown emergency, and it’s disappointing and concerning that the city’s water and wastewater infrastructure needs did not make it in the administration’s $47.1 billion emergency request.”
The senator made it clear that she believes it’s more necessary for the federal government to appropriate funds to help Jackson residents than to send more money in support of Ukraine, COVID-19 and monkeypox research, and natural disasters in other states.
“I am deeply concerned that the administration’s emergency funding request fails to address the serious and ongoing water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi,” Hyde-Smith added. “Support for Ukraine, COVID-19, monkeypox, or natural disasters in other states should not take priority over the needs of Jackson residents to have access to clean water.”
Hyde-Smith, who expressed appreciation for the Biden administration’s attention to the crisis in Jackson, outlined ways for OMB to be able to provide direct assistance to the city of Jackson.
These options align with the senator’s use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency programs to help the city with its water and wastewater infrastructure. She also cited legislation which allows states and local governments to use previously appropriated COVID-19 relief funds for natural disasters and infrastructure projects.