A bill with $439 million to restore the barrier islands and $80 million worth of housing vouchers to be divided between Mississippi and other states is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk.
The president is expected to sign the $106 billion defense appropriation containing the Mississippi funds after it passed the Senate 91-5 Thursday. Supporters had to overcome some GOP opposition to non-defense spending in the bill and some Democrats’ objections to war funding. The resistance was much stronger in the House, which passed the bill in a narrow 226-202 vote Tuesday.
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran — ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee — pushed for the money. U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, Sen. Roger Wicker and Gov. Haley Barbour have also been lobbying for the funds.
“We can be proud of the progress we have made since Hurricane Katrina, but there is still work to be done,” Cochran said. “The funding that was approved today will help storm victims find permanent housing, restore facilities that were damaged and protect the Coast from future hurricanes.”