Kiggans: Delay on Defense Spending Bill is Shameful
WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement after a delay in consideration of H.R. 4365, which would fund the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2024:
“There’s no place for political theater when it comes to our men and women in uniform. Any delay in funding our nation’s military puts our national security – and those sworn to protect it – at great risk. As a former Navy helicopter pilot who is married to a veteran and mother to children who serve, it’s hard to find the words to express how frustrated and disappointed I am.
“To use our troops as pawns to leverage other, unrelated agendas is shameful. The world is watching as we cripple our own warfighters while China continues to build lethal fighting forces.
“I invite any and all of my colleagues to come to my district and visit the military installations that will suffer the consequences of Congress not doing its job. I can only hope that once they see some of the challenges our men and women in uniform face and hear their stories of service, they’ll think twice about holding this funding hostage.
“If there is anything that can unite us, it should be taking care of our troops. I will not tolerate any further weakening of our great fighting force and our great nation.”
Highlights of H.R. 4365 include:
- Funding a 5.2% increase in servicemember basic pay, the largest in over 20 years;
- Rejecting the Biden Administration’s efforts to retire four Navy ships early;
- $9 billion for the Pacific Defense Initiative;
- $4.5 billion above the President’s Budget Request to improve military readiness;
- $32.9 billion to procure nine Navy battle force ships, including two Virginia-class submarines, and;
- $9.6 billion for 86 F-35 aircraft.