Heritage Action Issues Key Vote Opposing Senate Supplemental Package

Press Releases · Feb 6, 2024

WASHINGTON—Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million activists nationwide, today issued a Key Vote to notify lawmakers of the organization’s strong opposition to the Senate’s supplemental funding package and so-called border deal. New analysis from border policy experts at The Heritage Foundation found the Senate’s immigration bill would make the border crisis worse.

Heritage Action President Dr. Kevin Roberts released the following statement:

“Only in Washington can lawmakers draft a ‘border security’ package that doesn’t secure the border—and then attach it to an ‘emergency’ funding bill that puts the interests of the American people last.

“After months of secret negotiations, this backroom deal was finally released on a Sunday night, mere hours before Chuck Schumer tees up the first vote. Americans recognize this process for what it is—an attempt to minimize criticism and coerce lawmakers into approving $118 billion more in deficit spending.

“Senators and the Biden administration can no longer camouflage the truth: They're leveraging the border crisis and the needs of our allies in Israel and Taiwan to extract more than $60 billion in additional unaccountable aid for Ukraine. Ironically, this bill would do nothing to secure the border. Instead it increases incentives for mass illegal immigration by including amnesty, expanded work permits, and billions for sanctuary cities.

“The answer from conservative lawmakers should be a resounding and unequivocal no.”

By issuing a Key Vote, lawmakers are notified that their vote on this legislation will affect their grade on the Heritage Action Scorecard, which shows voters and activists how conservative lawmakers are by comparing their policy positions to those of Heritage Action. The scores of lawmakers who vote to proceed to the bill will be negatively impacted.

More information about the legislation and Heritage Action’s decision to issue a Key Vote can be found in the brief pasted below.

KEY VOTE: “No” on the Senate Supplemental Appropriations Package (Senate amendment to H.R.815)

Heritage Action opposes the Senate’s supplemental appropriations package (Senate amendment to H.R.815) and will include cloture on the motion to proceed as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

In the last three years, Congress has spent more than $7.5 trillion, resulting in a national debt that is now over $34 trillion and driving an inflation crisis that’s left many Americans unable to afford groceries, gas, and rent. The Biden administration’s “emergency” supplemental funding request for billions in deficit-financed spending is a disingenuous effort to conflate and leverage popular support for Israel and false promises of border security for continued spending on the conflict in Ukraine and an open southern border. The Senate’s attempt to fulfill that request with more than $118 billion and the destructive policies in this package is wildly irresponsible.

With the exception of replenishing defense capabilities for our ally Israel following the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas— a genuinely time-sensitive and unforeseen crisis—all other priorities in this supplemental were fully known at the start of the current appropriations cycle. Rather than budgeting for these stated “priorities” by eliminating less important federal programs, this supplemental attempts to use the legitimate “emergency” designation for the war in Israel to dodge responsible budgeting for the Biden-designed crisis at the southern border and sending billions more of unaccountable taxpayer dollars into Ukraine.

Taxpayers have sent more than $113 billion to Ukraine since the start of the conflict—all without responsible accountability measures or a clear understanding of future American commitments. The additional $62.3+ billion would bring the taxpayers’ total to more than $175 billion in less than two years—more than $1,300 per American household and more than $11,500 per Ukrainian household. This bill violates the responsible principles consistently laid out by conservatives to consider additional aid to Ukraine: There is no public accounting of the expended military and economic aid, it is not being considered on its own, and the administration has not articulated the end goal, expected U.S. commitment, impacts of drawdown authority, and assurances of further commitments from our European partners. Tens of millions of U.S. dollars have already been stolen by corrupt Ukrainian officials because of Congress’s chaotic and reckless push to provide aid without guardrails, and the administration has yet to explain how further fraud will be prevented.

The Biden administration has facilitated the invasion of 10 million illegal aliens and signed 94 executive actions in the President’s first 100 days to dismantle any semblance of border security and immigration enforcement. The more than $20 billion for “border security” will continue funding for a demonstrated illegal immigration agenda while making border chaos permanent and limiting capabilities for future administrations to stop it. The bill codifies massive catch and release policies and expands the abuse of parole authority. The immigration provisions would strengthen illegal immigration magnets by codifying a crisis-level daily crossing allowance, expanding free services for illegal aliens, and giving amnesty-like work permits and status to 250,000 illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, the few provisions for detention and expulsion—the only way to reverse the flow—are tied to billions more in funding for the NGOs and sanctuary cities that have acted as traffickers for illegal immigrants while profiting off the chaos.

The nearly $16.5 billion for Israel and the Middle East should be focused on military capabilities that are in the security interests of the United States— not paired with earmarks for various so-called “humanitarian” initiatives that fund Hamas terrorist activities. As a major non-NATO ally with decades of deep and lasting friendship with the United States, our support for Israel should not be conditioned on additional Ukraine funds and money for failed immigration policies.

Americans are looking for relief from inflation, accountability for Ukraine funding, a secure border, and focused aid to Israel—all separate debates on different policy questions. This bill fails on every count.

Heritage Action opposes the Senate’s supplemental appropriations package (Senate amendment to H.R.815) and will include cloture on the motion to proceed as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Heritage Action strongly supports H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, as the only solution to securing the border and ending the Biden-designed chaos that’s exacerbating the drug, crime, and cost of living crises facing the country.