Senator Collins Urges Colleagues to Support FY24 Six-Bill Appropriations Package


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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, delivered remarks on the U.S. Senate floor tonight to urge her colleagues to support the six-bill Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations package.  Senator Collins helped lead negotiations on the legislation, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming 339-85 vote on Wednesday afternoon.


A transcript of Senator Collins’ remarks are as follows:


“Madam President, I urge my colleagues to support the six-bill Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations package that is before us.


“I'm pleased to report that the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed this bill earlier today by a vote of 339 to 85.  It was strongly bipartisan, and now the Senate should follow suit.


“I want to express my thanks to the Republican ranking members on each of the six subcommittees – Senators Murkowski, Moran, Hoeven, Boozman, Kennedy, and Hyde-Smith – for their tremendous work in assembling this package. 


“I also want to recognize the Chair of the Committee, Senator Patty Murray, who has worked so hard since she was named Chair and I Vice Chair, in order to bring us to this point.


“I also want to salute the Democratic chairs for their work. 


“My point, Madam President, is that everyone involved, including our incredibly hard-working staff, have worked night and day to bring us to this point.


“The measure before us includes the following Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills: Interior, Commerce, Justice, and Science, Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water Development, and Transportation and Housing.


“And again, Madam President, although I wish this had happened months ago, these are full-year appropriations bills.  In other words, this is not another continuing resolution, not a short-term patch, but rather a package of bills that will fund these important programs, agencies, and departments through the end of the fiscal year.


“This package fully funds veterans' medical care, supports our farmers, fishermen, and ranchers, protects our nation's food and drug supply, provides critical resources for law enforcement, helps us better compete with China, advances American energy independence, and invests in our nation's infrastructure and public lands.


“This legislation also complies with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, as well as the topline spending agreement reached between Speaker Johnson and Senator Schumer.  Under that agreement, defense funding for this fiscal year will increase by 3.3% relative to Fiscal Year 2023 enacted levels, while non-defense funding will be held flat.


“Madam President, that is not easy to do, particularly given the impact of inflation, the 5.2% federal employee pay raise, which many of these agencies are going to have to absorb.  So, it took a great deal of negotiation and hard work for us to get to this point. 


“It certainly has not been easy, but I am proud of the legislation we are bringing to the floor today.


“I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to move this important legislative package forward toward enactment.  I look forward to further floor discussion tomorrow, but right now, I do urge a ‘yes’ vote on the motion to proceed.


“Thank you, Madam President.”