Central IL Reps Explain Vote on Recent $1.2T FY24 Appropriations Package Which Includes Local Projects

By Benjamin Cox on March 29, 2024 at 7:48am

Two Central Illinois Congressional representatives have explained why they voted against a recent minibus of funding packages to keep the federal government open.

On Saturday, Congress passed its second minibus appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2024. The enactment of the bill comes two weeks after Congress passed the first package of 6 bills to fund the federal government. With all 12 spending bills now enacted, the federal government is funded through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2024, ending September 31st.

The second package includes $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education.

15th District Congresswoman Mary Miller released a statement on Saturday after the bill was passed saying she was voting no because it allowed the Biden Administration to continue a program called CBP One App that she says flies illegal immigrants into the country. The mobile application allows migrants seeking to enter the U.S. To upload data and make appointments to be processed into the U.S. And then paroled into the country.

Miller said she also opposed measures that she says “funds the World Health Organization, includes $200 million for a new FBI Headquarters, ives $25 million to the CDC and NIH to research gun control policy, and provides taxpayer dollars for centers that perform abortions and transgender organizations that encourage the chemical castration of minor children.”

17th District Congressman Darin LaHood told WJBC that he was in favor of portions of the spending package, but it far outweighed other portions that he was opposed to: “We are spending way more than we are bringing in. So, in the end, if the bill would have been under budget or at budget, I could have supported the bill, but it wasn’t so I voted against it. Again, there are things in there that help our border patrol, that help our military and I’m all for that, but when we continue to deficit spend, we can’t keep going as a country. That’s why I voted against it. Think about this: families in my district every month have to meet a family budget. You can’t spend more than you’re bringing in. If you do, you’re going to end up in bankruptcy court or you’re going to end up getting hauled off to jail. The same with a small business. Municipalities are the same way – they can’t spend more than they are bringing in. The federal government doesn’t understand this. I think it was important to send a message that you can’t keep spending more than we are bringing in and that’s why I voted against it.”

13th District Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski voted in favor of the bill and highlighted that she believes the packages answers the questions surrounding necessary resources for the southern border, provides robust funding for technology and personnel to combat the fentanyl problems in the nation, and authorized increased pay for the Border Patrol as well as new training and careers-based programs through the U.S. Department of Labor. Budzinski also says that bill advances money for research into cancer, Alzheimer’s, and provides funding to programs for Substance Abuse treatment and recovery as well as increased Head Start education funding.

Locally, included in the package was nearly $1 million to Illinois College to renovate classroom space, acquire new technology, and provide scholarship opportunities to increase enrollment of nursing students in the BSN program.

Statewide, YMCAs will receive some additional funding to fund the expansion of the YMCA Safety Around Water drowning prevention program.

Bills providing funding or protecting jobs at Blackburn College, Scott Air Force Base, the IL Airlift Wing in Peoria, as well as US Postal service funding tied to not closing any rural post offices were also included in the bill.