Contact: 202-224-5054

Name: Cindy Hyde-Smith

Senate: Mississippi, Republican

Cumulative Freedom Index Score: 60%

Status: Active Member of the Senate

Score Breakdown:
60% (115th Congress: 2017-2018)

Key Votes:

On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 3021 to S.Amdt. 2911 to S.Amdt. 2910 to H.R. 5895: Waters of the United States
Vote Date: June 21, 2018Vote: NAYGood Vote.
During consideration of a minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 5895), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an amendment to repeal the EPA’s 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule, which allows federal bureaucrats to broadly interpret the meaning of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. This rule, Lee opined on the Senate floor, “effectively dramatically expanded the jurisdiction of the Federal Government over land in the United States, in some instances saying that if a plot of land is wet some of the time, some of the year, during any particular year, you can be subject to massive fines totaling millions of dollars if you do anything on that land, subject to the arbitrary determinations of Federal bureaucrats.”

The Senate tabled (killed) Lee’s amendment on June 21, 2018 by a vote of 62 to 34 (Roll Call 138). We have assigned pluses to the nays because both federal water regulations and the EPA are unconstitutional, and if the rule were allowed to stand, activities such as farming and real estate development would be greatly hampered, since farmers and developers would be subject to increased unconstitutional permit requirements and fines concerning their treatment of almost any body of water, no matter how small.

On the Motion to Discharge H.R. 3: Appropriations Cuts
Vote Date: June 20, 2018Vote: AYEGood Vote.
This bill (H.R. 3) would cut nearly $15 billion from previously approved, unspent funding, including $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program and $4.3 billion from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

The Senate rejected a motion to discharge H.R. 3 from the Senate Budget Committee (so that it could be considered by the full Senate) on June 20, 2018 by a vote of 48 to 50 (Roll Call 134). We have assigned pluses to the yeas not only because the spending falls outside the scope of constitutionally authorized federal powers, but also because the federal government needs to start reining in ballooning federal spending (and debt) somewhere in order to avert fiscal disaster. The cuts in this bill comprise only a fraction of one percent of total federal spending, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, most of the unspent funding targeted by the bill would not be spent anyway. Yet modest cuts are better than none at all.

On the Motion to Table S.Amdt. 2366 to H.R. 5515 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019): Indefinite Detention
Vote Date: June 13, 2018Vote: AYEBad Vote.
During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the Due Process Guarantee Act amendment to uphold the right to due process for U.S. citizens and permanent residents on American soil. “This amendment … simply says that if you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may not be indefinitely detained on U.S. soil without trial, without charge, without access to a jury or to counsel,” Lee said on the Senate floor. His amendment would negate language in the fiscal year 2012 NDAA that purportedly authorizes the U.S. military to indefinitely detain American citizens accused of being terrorists, without habeas corpus and without being tried and found guilty in a court of law.

The Senate rejected a motion to table (kill) Lee’s amendment on June 13, 2018 by a vote of 30 to 68 (Roll Call 122). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the war on terror must not be allowed to destroy constitutionally guaranteed legal protections.

On the Nomination PN1857: Haspel Nomination
Vote Date: May 17, 2018Vote: AYEBad Vote.
In March 2018, President Trump nominated Gina Haspel to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposed Haspel’s nomination, explained why in a Politico Magazine article: “Haspel ran a secret [CIA ‘black site’] center in Thailand where prisoners were tortured”; “Haspel participated in and helped develop the program that our own government has labeled torture”; and “she helped destroy the very evidence of this program.” Regarding the latter, Haspel ordered the destruction of videos documenting the torture.

The Senate confirmed Trump’s nomination of Haspel on May 17, 2018 by a vote of 54 to 45 (Roll Call 101). We have assigned pluses to the nays because of Haspel’s complicity in the use of torture, including waterboarding, a violation of U.S. law as well as the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishments.”

On the Joint Resolution S.J.Res. 52: Net Neutrality
Vote Date: May 16, 2018Vote: NAYGood Vote.
This bill (Senate Joint Resolution 52) would nullify and disapprove of the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that seeks to deregulate the Internet. In 2015, as a result of fears that providers would “throttle” customers’ Internet connections and charge higher rates for certain times and/or services, the Obama-era FCC imposed common-carrier mandates on broadband Internet service providers, essentially regulating the Internet as a public utility. The Trump FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai overturned this rule, allowing the Internet to be more or less unregulated as it had been before the rule.

The Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 52 on May 16, 2018 by a vote of 52 to 47 (Roll Call 97). We have assigned pluses to the nays because regulation of the Internet is not a proper function of the federal government under the Constitution. The new FCC rule under Commissioner Pai was more of a hands-off approach to the Internet, allowing service providers to set their own rules. This is the correct approach, as any provider “throttling” service or overcharging customers will lose business to more competitive providers in a free market setting. Government, in scenarios such as these, will nearly always cause more problems than it claims to attempt to solve. Case in point: Regulations are not always applied equally, as under the Obama FCC rule some sites were forced to “play fair,” while some of the big guys, such as Netflix and Google, could still set their own rules.

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