Today the Senate Appropriations Committee considered its Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. The bill proposes cutting the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program (popularly known as the FIRE grant program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.
In FY 2023, the AFG and SAFER grant programs received $360 million for each program. President Biden proposed $370 million for each program in FY 2024. The House Appropriations Committee reported its version of the FY 2024 DHS Appropriations bill (H.R. 4367) with $360 million for each program. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill only would allocate $338 million for each program.
Congress will recess soon for the August recess. Please use this August to meet with your Senators and explain the importance of the AFG and SAFER grant programs for your fire department’s operations. You can contact their offices using the Senate directory. It will require your action to protect the funding for these vital programs.