Kiggans Votes to Fund Military, Border Patrol, Critical Healthcare Programs

Mar 22, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Kiggans released the below statement after voting in favor of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024. This legislation, which passed out of the House by a bipartisan vote of 286 to 134, provides a total $1.23 trillion in government funding, including for the military, Border Patrol, and other critical services.

“For years Washington went on a reckless spending spree, making our national debt skyrocket and hurting working families,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “That’s why I have made it my mission in Congress to rein in the wasteful spending from previous years while strategically increasing our defense budget and taking care of our servicemembers. Today I am proud to say that this bill delivers on that promise, and I was proud to support it. 

“This bill funds our highest national security priorities – it invests in a more innovative and lethal fighting force, continues support for our allies, and provides critical resources for those working to secure our southern border…all while making targeted cuts to programs that have nothing to do with our national security and clawing back billions of dollars from the Biden Administration.

“I am proud that even in a divided government, House Republicans successfully fought to refocus federal spending on America’s most crucial needs, both at home and abroad. We have to get our country back on the right track and it is an honor to take votes here in Congress that do just that on behalf of our military men and women and all of southeast Virginia.”

BACKGROUND

Specifically, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 includes the following funding bills: Defense; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Legislative Branch; and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. 

Importantly, this legislation:

  • Funds the largest increase (5.2%) in basic military pay in over 20 years.
  • Funds 22,000 Border Patrol Agents, which is the highest level ever funded, and provides $125 million for increases to Border Patrol overtime pay authorized by the NDAA. 
  • Provides a $27 billion increase over the Department of Defense’s FY23 enacted level, and directs that funding to countering China, developing next-generation weapons, and investing in the quality-of-life of our servicemembers.
  • Includes $8.7 billion for the childcare and development block grant at the Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Includes $305 million for the nursing workforce development programs at the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Fully funds the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request for advance procurement for future Virginia-class submarines.
  • Prohibits any taxpayer funding going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a group that had known operatives involved in the October 7th terrorist attacks.
  • Targets resources to rural communities, including vital telehealth and opioid response resources. 
  • Claws back $2.6 billion in unused COVID funds.
  • Provides $125 million for increases in overtime pay for Border Patrol officers and a 25% increase for border security technology, including mobile surveillance technologies and tunnel detection systems.
  • Prioritizes funding to counter China, including $300 million for Taiwan.
  • Prohibits the IRS from targeting individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.
  • Ensures that no funds may be used to enforce a COVID vaccine mandate in the military. 

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