DHS House Appropriation Bill to fund AFG, SAFER and USFA
Published on 26 July 2010
On June 24, the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee marked-up legislation that would fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in FY 2011, including the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, and the United States Fire Administration (USFA). The bill provides $420 million each for AFG and SAFER – consistent with funding levels requested by NVFC and other fire service organizations in a February letter to the Subcommittee.
The $420 million funding level would be a $30 million increase for AFG and flat funding for SAFER. The President had requested that each program receive only $305 million. Congress doubled funding for SAFER in FY 2010, following the recommendation of the President's budget request. Funding for AFG in FY 2010 was reduced from $565 million to $390 million after the President's request that it be slashed to $170 million. The combined total of $840 million for AFG and SAFER would be the highest level of combined funding for the programs ever.
"I'd like to thank Chairman Price, Ranking Member Rogers, and the other members of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee for funding AFG and SAFER at the levels requested by the fire service," said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. "Given the ongoing economic difficulties that this country faces, the Subcommittee had some difficult decisions to make. The fire service calibrated our funding request in recognition of the fact that large increases were not likely to be feasible. I am extremely pleased that the Subcommittee was willing to work with us to provide adequate support for the fire service in a very tough year."
The Subcommittee's bill also provides $45.93 million for the United States Fire Administration (USFA), an increase of approximately seven percent, consistent with the President's budget request. The NVFC supports this funding level for USFA.
A summary of the Subcommittee's bill, which has not yet been assigned a bill number, has been posted on the House Appropriations Committee's web site. The bill will need to be reported out of the full Appropriations Committee before it can be considered by the House of Representatives. The NVFC will provide updates as they become available on the progress of this legislation.
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