On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4366, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2024.
The measure was approved with a vote of 219 to 211, with every Democrat voting against the bill, including Alaska’s Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola.
The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes a total of $317.441 billion in funding for the Department of Defense (Military Construction and Family Housing), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and related agencies.
Of the total, $155.701 billion is provided as discretionary funding, and $161.740 billion is provided for mandatory programs.
Some $17.5 billion is for Department of Defense military construction projects, which is nearly $800 million above President Biden’s budget request.
The bill fully funds the Department of Veterans Affairs for Fiscal Year 2024 by appropriating $137.755 billion in discretionary funding in addition to the $20.268 billion included in the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund.
Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund also has funding for the Honoring Our PACT Act, which extends health coverage for veterans exposed to burn pit smoke and other environmental hazards that caused cancers and other illnesses during while they were serving our country.
Earlier this month, Peltola voted against the National Defense Authorization Act because it did not provide enough money for abortions and transgender surgeries.
Peltola is running for reelection in 2024, and has been challenged by Republican Nick Begich, who has come out strongly in favor of national defense and military families.
“Alaska has more military veterans per capita than any other state in the nation. It’s critical that our sole representative in the House show up and deliver on the promises made for those who have chosen to serve our country,” Begich said.
“Mary Peltola’s betrayal of veterans and active duty troops may be her worst betrayal of Alaskans yet. Peltola votes the extreme Democrat party line even when that means targeting the health care and benefits veterans earned serving our country in uniform — or blocking pay raises for active duty troops,” said NRCC spokesman Ben Petersen.