Sen. Hyde-Smith offers update

U. S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was the guest speaker last Tuesday for the Simpson  County Development Foundation meeting. 

Hyde-Smith discussed current issues in Washington, D.C., for the Council of  Governments Committee of the Foundation.  She discussed how divisive politics are in the nation’s capital, where she arrived a year and a half ago during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings for a Supreme Court appointment. 

The staff tried to dissuade Hyde-Smith from getting involved in the controversy, but she said she felt the immediate need to voice her position.  She said  situations arose after the fact that had her in fear for her life.  At that point she noted that Brad White, her chief of staff,  could double as a body guard any day.   She said he had to physically man-handle a person out of her way. 

Hyde-Smith talked of her relationship with President Donald Trump,  noting the tree times that he came to the state to campaign for her during her election.  In discussing the current budget she said that while some compromises had been necessary,  important needs like funding for military was not reduced and there was no additional government shutdown. 

Senator Hyde-Smith then moved on to gun control and the recent rash of mass shootings.  She said that enough gun laws are already on the books and that he most important issue in this regard is mental health. 

She discussed the importance of being able to recognize signs of individuals who could be suspects for causing great harm.  Most importantly, she said, “If you see something that is not right, report it to the proper authorities.”

  She said there are indicators for people who might be suspects for perpetrating mass shootings and that the public needs to become more aware of these indicators. 

Stan Bulger of Magee commented about federal government intervention in public schools as well as small hospitals.  Hyde-Smith responded that healthcare is not the only concern of government intervention but it is also an impactor in economic development. 

The senator said the government is working to exempt rural economic development from three categories of regulation, which are endangered species, archives and history, and Environmental Protection Agency restrictions.  Hyde-Smith said these three areas stop so many projects. 

As examples, Hyde-Smith pointed out the backwater flooding of parts of the Mississippi Delta which prevented 500,000 acres of cropland from being planted this year.  She said two issues prevented the pumps which may have prevented the flooding from being put into place.  They were regulations protecting endangered species and environmental issues. 

She stated that two other issues will be need to be determined in the near future--the tariff trade with foreign countries and  a new program, US MCA, which she said is the new NAFTA trade agreements. 

She was asked why she felt there is such a contentious relationship between the two political parties and what could be done to improve the situation.  She said the problem is caused by politicians “playing to the camera.”  She said when cameras were not around things got accomplished.  She said her visits with legislators who had a longer tenure than hers  have revealed that they have never known relationships to be so strained. 

But she added that many deals are taken care of during lunches when the media is not around.