Kiggans Votes to Support Veterans, Rein in Wasteful Spending

Mar 06, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the below statement after voting in favor of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024. This legislation, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 339 to 85, includes bills that provide a total $460 billion in government funding.

Notably, base spending across these six bills is $9 billion below the same six bills from Fiscal Year 2023 and comes in under the President’s Budget Request by more than $100 billion. These significant savings are accomplished while fully funding our veterans’ health care, toxic exposure programs, and military construction projects with a particular focus on quality-of-life projects such as improved barracks, upgrades to the quality of housing, and funding for child development centers.

“In recent years, Washington’s irresponsible spending has skyrocketed, adding trillions to our national debt and increasing the cost of living for American families. I came to Congress to put an end to that wasteful spending without compromising on our commitment to veterans or reducing investments in our military and national security,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “Voting for this bill today is one of many steps I’ve taken to accomplish that goal. While it took much longer than it should have with a divided Congress, I’m proud that we finally came together to pass a bipartisan government funding bill that reduces non-defense, non-VA spending for the first time in almost a decade.” 

Importantly, this legislation also includes $13.75 million Congresswoman Kiggans secured for local projects across Southeast Virginia. A detailed list of these projects and the funding secured for them can be found here.

“It’s only right for our hard-earned taxpayer dollars to get returned to our communities,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I was proud to fight for these important funding requests on behalf of Southeast Virginia and look forward to seeing the positive impacts they will have back home…!”

BACKGROUND

Specifically, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 includes the following funding bills: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

Importantly, this legislation:

  • Fully funds veterans’ health care programs. 
  • Prohibits the DOJ from targeting or investigating parents who exercise their right to free speech at local school board meetings. 
  • Increases the DEA’s funding to expand its efforts to combat fentanyl. 
  • Provides $2 billion above the President’s Budget Request for military construction, focusing investments on the Pacific theater, barracks, and other quality-of-life projects.
  • Rejects policy provisions included in the President’s Budget Request that would have reduced domestic energy production, driven up oil and gas prices, and increased U.S. dependence on foreign oil. 
  • Upholds the nation’s nuclear deterrence posture, including:
    • $19.108 billion for the continued modernization of the nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure;
    • $1.946 billion for Naval Reactors; and
    • $2.581 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. 
  • Protects the 2nd Amendment rights of veterans by preventing the VA from sending information to the FBI about veterans without a judge’s consent. 
  • Maintains housing assistance for vulnerable Americans, including the elderly, disabled, and veterans. 
  • Ensures low-income Americans have access to nutrition programs.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 now heads to the Senate for consideration, then to the President’s desk to be signed into law. You can review the full bill text here.

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