House Approves Fire Service Amendments to DHS Spending Bill

On Wednesday, June 5th, the House began consideration of H.R.2217, the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act.  The bill provides $38.9 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during Fiscal Year 2014.  During Wednesday's consideration of the bill, the House approved several amendments of importance to the nation's fire and emergency services.

The first amendment was offered by Congressman David Reichert (WA-8), current chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Congressman John Daleney (MD-6) to restore funding for the United States Fire Administration (USFA) to the FY13 level of $44 million.  The bill had initially funded USFA at $42.2 million and the Administration had requested $41.3 million for the agency in FY14.  A second amendment was offered by Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11) and Congressman Gerald Connolly (VA-11) to add $7.667 million to the Urban Search and Rescue System, restoring the program to its FY13 funding level of $35.18 million.  And third amendment was offered by Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-3) and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9) to add $5 million to the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs, providing a total of $680 million split evenly between the two programs.  The grant programs received a total of $675 million in FY13.  All three amendments were unanimously approved by the House.

The House is expected to continue working on H.R. 2217 through the remainder of the week.

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