KEY VOTE: “NO” on the First FY24 Six-Bill Minibus (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024)

KEY VOTE: House · Mar 5, 2024

Heritage Action opposes the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

This package includes the following appropriations 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, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

The American people have been demanding Congress rein in the unprecedented size and scope of Fiscal Year 2024 government spending since the appropriations processes began a year ago. This spending package does neither. Containing half of the FY24 individual spending bills and amounting to $436 billion, this package only continues the spending trajectory that has led to historic inflation and fuels Biden’s political agenda.

With more than $34 trillion in national debt, the federal government’s fiscal situation currently sits at a pivotal point. The 2023 Fiscal Year yielded an annual deficit of $1.7 trillion—$320 billion higher than the prior year’s deficit. Further, higher interest rates will continue exacerbating the situation by raising borrowing costs for the government. Taxpayers will spend $870 billion just on our interest payments this year. We can no longer afford to go along to get along—Congress has to take meaningful action now to change the fiscal trajectory of the country or risk catastrophic consequences. Unfortunately, this minibus appropriations package misses the moment, continuing our marchdown the path to fiscal ruin.

The 2023 debt ceiling negotiations between Congress and the White House resulted in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), establishing FY24 spending caps totaling $1.59 trillion. The process also included budget gimmicks ultimately leading to an additional nearly $70 billion being made available outside the spending caps. The funding bills making up this minibus include more than $22 billion in these budget gimmicks and hundreds of millions of dollars in earmark projects for political leverage. Members should not support forcing Americans to fund earmarks that waste $1 million on an ‘environmental justice center’ or $4 million on a Green New Deal police station while 60% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck because of reckless government spending.

These bills robustly fund the federal agencies responsible for a variety of the Biden administration’s instances of overreach without doing anything to address them. For example, it makes no attempt to block the Department of Veterans Affairs' illegal final rule that allows for the department to provide taxpayer funded abortions to retired service members, their spouses, and their dependents. The measure does nothing to curb the FBI’s use of politicized abuses and the administration’s broader use of the federal government against political rivals through censorship . Further, the measure includes millions of dollars for sanctuary cities that perpetuate criminal activity by illegal immigrants.

The interest on our national debt is growing to surpass the amount Congress spends on annual defensespending. The appropriations process represented a real opportunity for members of Congress to begin righting the course by using their Article I authority to cut spending, but this bill doesn’t deviate from Congress’ charted course towards financial catastrophe. The inflation and job loss caused by Congress's failures to cut spending penalizes America’s working class and those working toward the American dream. The American people have pleaded for responsible spending and border security for years, but unfortunately, this minibus represents a continuation of business as usual.

Heritage Action opposes the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.