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 the appropriations process to fund the government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, and this is our moment to make an impact. The fiscal year ended on September 30, but Congress has continued funding on a short-term basis with the use of a continuing resolution (CR), which maintains spending at last year’s levels.

For nearly 50 years, Congress has followed a process where they are supposed to pass 12 separate appropriations bills that fund the government (with different bills funding different departments and agencies). 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 $33.7 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 over $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 $33.7 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 $106 billion in funding for Ukraine, Israel, processing illegal immigrants at the border, and global humanitarian aid factor into these negotiations? While Congress is currently negotiating bills for all federal spending, President Biden has asked for a $106 billion “supplemental” spending package — meaning that it would be in addition to whatever deal Congress reaches to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2024. Biden’s supplemental request includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $13.6 billion for “border funding” that largely goes to help admit and process illegal immigrants at the southern border, $14.3 billion to support Israel, and $10 billion for global humanitarian need (including Gaza).

Each of these issues should be considered one by one, on their own merits. Biden’s attempt to entangle them together is emblematic of the kind of thinking that leaves the country with poorly crafted policy.

For more about Biden’s supplemental request, check out our activist toolkit specifically on this issue: BIDEN’S FUNDING REQUEST FAILS AMERICANS.

As Congress is currently negotiating a spending deal ahead of the Nov 17th deadline, 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 Biden’s supplemental funding request: Heritage Action’s grassroots toolkit covers what is in this request and how Congress can provide responsible and targeted support for Israel. Learn more here.

  • 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 how Congress should approach the appropriations process: This blog post explains how Congress should use spending bills to cut the size and scope of government. Learn more.

  • For more on Ukraine funding: Read this press release on the basic requirements for considering any additional Ukraine funding.

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, the “supplemental” request ropes together a variety of issues that deserve to be debated on their own merit, and be considered independently of each other.. Second, Biden’s Ukraine funding request ignores the minimum criteria for accountability, transparency, and good governance. Third, it throws money at broken immigration policies instead of fixing failed policies. Finally, it holds aid for Israel hostage when a quick, targeted response is what would most benefit the United States.

  • 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.

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