Kiggans-Backed Bill to Fund Military, Veterans’ Benefits Passes House

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement after voting for H.R. 4366, which provides funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) and fully appropriates funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and related agencies for fiscal year 2024. 

Importantly, this legislation fully funds veterans’ healthcare and benefits by appropriating $137.5 billion of funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs, in addition to the $20.3 billion already provided for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.

In May, Congresswoman Kiggans led more than 50 of her colleagues on a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough condemning partisan misinformation the agency released regarding veterans’ benefits.

“Ensuring our national defense is properly funded is my main mission in Congress,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “Today’s legislation sends a loud and clear message: our servicemembers and veterans are – and will continue to be – a top priority. I’m especially proud that we funded military construction projects at nearly $1 billion above the Administration’s request. Improving quality-of-life for our men and women in uniform is critical to the completion of their mission.”

“Despite partisan lies that were spread by the Administration in recent months, my colleagues and I fought to ensure that our VA is fully funded,” continued Congresswoman Kiggans.“As a third-generation veteran, mother of future veterans, and proud representative of one of the largest veteran populations in the country, providing resources for our nation’s heroes is one of the main reasons I came to Congress. I will continue to be a loud advocate for additional defense and veterans funding to guarantee that every single servicemember, every veteran, and their families are taken care of by the nation they’ve sacrificed so much for.”

Congresswoman Kiggans successfully advocated for a number of funding provisions that will directly benefit Virginia’s Second District and the Greater Hampton Roads Area, including:

  • $23,680 for Dam Neck Annex’s Maritime Surveillance System Facility;
  • $35,000 for Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Story’s Child Development Center;
  • $61,000 for Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Story’s Special Operations Forces (SOF) Seal Delivery Vehicle Team (SDVT2) Operations Support Facility;
  • $12,400 for Marine Forces Reserve Dam Neck Virginia Beach’s Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) support facilities;
  • $43,600 for Naval Station Norfolk’s Child Development Center;
  • $81,082 for Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s Dry Dock Saltwater System for the USS Gerald R. Ford (INC) (CVN-78), which is the lead ship in Ford-class aircraft carriers.

BACKGROUND

The FY24 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill includes a total of $317.4 billion in funding for DoD Military Construction and Family Housing, the VA, and related agencies dealing with matters related to our Armed Forces. In total, $155.7 billion of that number is discretionary funding and $161.7 is mandatory funding.

$17.5 billion of the discretionary funding has been provided for DoD military construction projects, which is $799.1 million over the Administration’s budget request. Included in that number is:

  • $1.425 billion for infrastructure related to the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and $131 million for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command;
  • $362.3 million for 9 barracks projects and an additional $195 million for planning and design;
  • $293.8 million for 7 child development center projects and an additional $75 million for planning and design, and;
  • $480.8 million for U.S. Special Operations Command.

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