Issue Toolkit:

2024 Spending Fight – Policies & Priorities

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Background information

Federal spending is out of control, driving the national debt and record inflation for Americans. The Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process offers an opportunity to make necessary spending cuts and eliminate funding for wasteful and politically-weaponized areas of government.

Here’s What You Need To Know: Congress is currently engaged in negotiations to fund the government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, and this is our moment to make an impact. The fiscal year ends on September 30, which means there is growing pressure to reach a deal on spending levels. If a deal can’t be reached by October 1, there will be pressure to reach a short term continuing resolution (CR) to extend existing spending levels, while negotiations for a full year of funding continue into the fall.

Conservatives must use the appropriations or funding process to push back against the Biden administration’s radical agenda and rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending that accelerated during the “Covid era” of spending. The bloat in spending from 2020 to 2023 was chock full of terrible policies that conservatives rightfully opposed and has contributed to the government’s weaponization against the American people — cutting spending this year is a way to put an end to some of the Biden administration’s radical policies.

Conservatives are advocating for any bills to fund the federal government to include these things:

  • Cut spending to FY22 levels– $1.471 trillion.

  • Don’t use any budget gimmicks to hide increased spending.

  • Return government agencies to their core competencies and mission by refusing to fund the bloat and political agenda ushered in by the Left over the past two years.

  • Secure our border to end Biden’s drug and humanitarian crisis.

Reining in the Size of Government: We now own a historic national debt exceeding $32.5 trillion. At a minimum, Congress should reduce and return spending to FY22 levels. Reaching this goal requires $131 billion in real spending cuts—not shell games using rescissions. The COVID-19 pandemic is over—COVID spending levels should end too.

Reining in the Scope of Government: Republicans must push back against the Biden administration’s radical agenda through government funding. Examples include: dismantling DEI offices, trainings, and programs; restricting partnerships and agreements with China and affiliated entities; protecting against religious discrimination; defunding and overturning policies that enable the illegal immigration crisis; restricting funds for misnamed and destructive “gender affirming care”; reducing burdensome, misguided climate regulations; eliminating funds for the World Health Organization.

Why Does this Spending Fight Matter? Here’s a few ways the federal government’s current out of control spending is affecting you:

  • Takes money out of your pocket. Bidenflation has cost the average American household $7,100 since Biden took office, a combination of rising inflation and falling real wages. Ukraine funding has cost $900 per American household.

  • Robs our children and grandchildren of a secure future. The current national debt exceeds $32.5 trillion, and is growing every second. Credit ratings agency Fitch recently downgraded U.S. government bonds, marking a loss of confidence in the United States’ credit worthiness. Fitch was clear in describing the insurmountable accumulation of debt as a primary factor. This is a warning sign the Biden administration is pushing the nation towards financial catastrophe. Future generations will be held accountable for every dollar added to the national debt—plus interest!

  • Pushes out our real priorities. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal government will spend $10 trillion in the next decade on interest payments. That means interest on the debt will soon cost taxpayers more than defense spending.

  • Fuels radical programs that threaten our families. The federal government is actively funding so-called “gender transition” procedures, drag shows, DEI trainings, and holding school lunch funding hostage if school districts don’t allow boys into girls locker rooms and sports.

Is Cutting Spending Possible? It’s important to realize that cutting spending is a VERY reasonable ask for Americans to make of Congress. In 2011, the Tea Party Movement created immense public pressure—to the point that a divided Congress and President Obama passed the Budget Control Act into law. This 2011 law began to reverse the increased spending from the 2008 financial crisis.

The parallels between 2011 and 2023 are significant, and public opinion once again has the power to force Congress and the President to do the right thing, and cut so-called “emergency spending” out of the equation.

How does Biden’s “supplemental” request for $24 billion in Ukraine funding factor into these negotiations? While Congress is currently negotiating bills for all federal spending, President Biden has asked for a $40 billion “supplemental” spending package that includes $24 billion for Ukraine, $12 billion for national disaster relief, and $4 billion in “border funding” that largely goes to help admit and process illegal immigrants at the southern border.

Here are 4 reasons to oppose Biden’s “supplemental” spending request:

  1. In this case, the term “supplemental” is an oxymoron, and an insult to common sense. There is nothing “supplemental” about a spending bill that is passed before the primary bill to fund the U.S. government. All of these supposedly “supplemental” spending measures should be debated, budgeted, and included in the spending bill that Congress is currently debating.

  2. It is nakedly political for Biden to hold $12 billion in disaster relief funding hostage by tying it to his request for more funding for Ukraine. This kind of strategy from politicians should not go unnoticed.

  3. The $4 billion “border” funding will not increase our security, but largely fund the network of NGOs that pay to move illegal immigrants into cities across the country. If Biden were serious about border security, he would instead include passage of H.R 2 – The Secure the Border Act in his “supplemental.”

  4. Biden’s request for Ukraine funding fails to meet minimum standards for accountability, transparency, and good governance. The American people have a right to open and transparent accounting of how U.S. economic and military funds have been used, any additional Ukraine funding must be considered on its own merits and paid for, and Biden must articulate a plan that defines the end goal, expected U.S. commitment, impacts of drawdown authority, and assurances of further commitments from European partners.

The Senate is scheduled to return to Washington on September 5th and the House on September 12th. Calling your Member of Congress and leaving a message with staff can put this issue, and your concerns, front of mind.

Additional Resources from Heritage Action:

  • For more on the appropriations (spending) process: Heritage Action’s brand-new guide explains the budget and appropriations process for the federal government. Access the guide HERE.

  • For more on the current state of play: This blog post explains the current situation as Congress comes back from August recess and prepares to face the September 30 deadline to fund the government. Learn more.

  • For more on Ukraine funding: Read this press release on how Biden’s $24 Billion misses the mark.

Additional Resources from The Heritage Foundation:

Key Points

  • Federal spending is out-of-control, and we must course-correct before it’s too late. Runaway federal spending is having real effects on Americans, from high inflation to lower real wages. Bidenflation has already cost Americans $7,100 per household.

  • Covid spending made the federal spending problem worse than it already was. From the “American Rescue Plan” to the “Infrastructure” Bill to the “Inflation Reduction Act” and more, Democrats used the Covid-19 state of emergency to push through trillions in extra spending, adding to both the national debt and inflation.

  • Congress has drastically cut spending before, so we know it’s possible to do it again. In 2011, the conservative grassroots created the Tea Party movement and pushed Congress to pass the Budget Control Act, which reversed the rapid trend of spending that had resulted from the 2008 financial crisis. Now, in the wake of Covid-era spending, it’s time for a similar spending reduction.

  • Biden’s supplemental spending request is irresponsible and unaccountable. First, a “supplemental” request is unnecessary at this point in the process. Second, Biden’s request ties Ukraine funding to disaster relief funding, which is nakedly political and should not be rewarded. Third, and most importantly, Biden’s Ukraine funding request ignores the minimum criteria for accountability, transparency, and good governance.

  • We cannot let Congress fund policies that threaten instead of protect the American people. A spending bill is the opportunity to fight for the policies we believe in. We must defund a weaponized government that is an enemy to the American people. Instead, we should fund common sense policies, like securing the border.

  • Conservatives must hold the line and fight for responsible federal spending. Congress must remain committed to cutting topline spending to real FY22 levels, bringing transparency to the process, and ensuring the federal budget is accountable to the American people and their interests and values.

Call Notes

My name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY, STATE].

I am calling to ask [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] to use the appropriations process to stop Congress’s out of control spending.

Inflation, spending, and the national debt are on an unsustainable path, and right now is the time for Congress to rein in the size and scope of government.

First, [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] should work to return federal spending to Fiscal Year 2022 spending levels at $1.471 Trillion, without using any budget gimmicks to hide increased spending.

Second, [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] should reject any supplemental spending bill. Any spending should be debated, budgeted, and included in the regular spending legislation Congress is currently debating.

Please tell [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] to put Americans first and fight for a better spending future.

Thank you for passing along my message.

Have a good day.

Social Posts (remember to insert the social handle of your member)

Tweet This:

.@[MEMBER], NOW is the time to stop Washington’s spending addiction. Here’s how to #StopTheSpendTrend.⬇

Tweet This:

Congress has spent TOO much money for TOO long. @[MEMBER], please fight to STOP the spending before Americans suffer more.

Tweet This:

Biden’s Ukraine funds have already cost American households $900 each. @[MEMBER], this is the time to demand accountability and responsibility for Washington’s spending.⬇