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

KEY VOTE: Senate · Mar 21, 2024

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

This package includes the following appropriations bills:

  • Defense;

  • Financial Services and General Government;

  • Homeland Security;

  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies;

  • Legislative Branch;

  • State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

The second tranche of FY24 government funding bills not only fails to rein in the size and scope of government spending, the process used to draft, introduce, and consider the package denies members and their constituents enough time to review the 1,000-page bill. Containing half of the FY24 individual spending bills and amounting to nearly $1.2 trillion, this package only continues the spending trajectory that has led to historic inflation and fuels Biden’s disastrous border policies. Members should not sacrifice sound policy decisions, or their ability to conduct oversight and determine sound policy, in exchange for simply funding a broken government.

With more than $34 trillion in national debt, the federal government’s fiscal situation sits at a pivotal point. The 2023 Fiscal Year yielded an annual deficit of $1.7 trillion—$320 billion more 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 must 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 march down 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 $30 billion in these budget gimmicks and more than $1.9 billion in earmark projects for political leverage. Members should not support forcing Americans to fund earmarks that waste their hard-earned tax dollars. The measure includes millions of dollars in outrageous earmarks for LGBTQ programs, an organization that provides “transition” assistance to minors, funds to “increase diversity” in state contracts, and more than $2 million for equipment at facilities performing abortions—just to name a few.

Together, these bills fuel radical policies by robustly funding the federal agencies responsible for a variety of the Biden administration’s instances of overreach without doing anything to address them. It makes no attempt to block the administration's pro-abortion agenda through all means possible. This bill uses taxpayer funding for time off, lodging, and travel expenses for elective abortions through the Department of Defense and funds an organization that performs and promotes abortion through the foreign aid program, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Worst of all, the measure does nothing to address the abuse of taxpayer dollars used for funding and processing illegal immigration. It not only doesn’t stop the abuse by the Biden administration, it increases funding for the policies that are abandoning enforcement of our immigration laws and fueling the border crisis. For three years, the Biden administration refused to fill available detention beds and directed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to process illegal aliens into the hands of corrupt Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) facilitating the invasion of our country. Providing more detention beds and more agents for processing while enabling the administration’s catch-and-release practices will do nothing to stop the flow of illegal migrants, drugs, and crime into cities across America. Further, Members should not vote to give amnesty, in the form of 12,000 green cards, to Afghans who claim they assisted the U.S. in Afghanistan. In addition to the precedent it sets on amnesty, DHS does not have the ability to thoroughly vet such claimants for fraud and safety. President Biden is getting exactly what he wants: more money for NGOs, sanctuary cities, and processing—the cornerstones of the crisis he created—and the false narrative that he delivered funding for border security.

The interest on our national debt is growing to surpass the amount Congress spends on annual defense. 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, protect taxpayer dollars from fueling Biden’s woke political agenda, and hold the administration accountable for facilitating an invasion at the southern border. This bill doesn’t deviate from Congress’s charted course toward financial catastrophe and participation in the border crisis. Inflation and job losses caused by Congress's failures to cut spending penalizes America’s working class and those struggling to afford 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 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.