House Proposes FY 2015 Funding Levels for USFA and AFG Programs

On June 28, the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee approved its draft of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. The bill would provide $39.2 billion in discretionary funding for DHS. This amount is a decrease of $50 million below the FY 2014 funding level, but an increase of $887.8 million above the Obama Administration’s budget request.

The legislation was drafted by Representative John Carter (R-Texas) and David Price (D-N.C.), the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee. With the exception of the funding for the Urban Search and Rescue program, the bill generally contains good news for many fire and emergency service programs by maintaining their funding at current levels.

Below are the proposed funding levels (in $millions) in the bill as they compare to the president’s FY 2015 budget request and the actual funding levels for FY 2013 and FY 2014:

  FY 2013
FY 2014 FY 2015
FY 2015
U.S. Fire Administration 42 44 41.407 44
FIRE Grant Program 320 340 335 340
SAFER Grant Program 320 340 335 340
UASI 475 600 * 600
SHSGP 329 466.3 * 466.3
US&R 33 35.18 27.51 27.51
Office of Health Affairs 124 126.76 125.77 127.96

*The Administration proposes consolidating SHSGP and UASI into its National Preparedness Grant program.

In addition, the bill would extend the waivers to the requirements for the SAFER grant program for a final year in order to allow fire departments to continue to retain and rehire firefighters. The bill also would prohibit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from implementing their National Preparedness Grant program proposal without the passage of authorization language.

The House Appropriations Committee still must schedule a full committee mark-up for the bill, and it must be considered on the House Floor. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released its FY 2015 DHS appropriations bill.

IAFC members are encouraged to contact their members in support of the funding levels for the FIRE, SAFER, USFA, UASI and SHSGP programs. For the Urban Search and Rescue system, the IAFC requested that Congress fund the program at the FY 2014 level of $35.18 million.

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