HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE RELEASES DRAFT FY12 HOMELAND SECURITY SPENDING BILL
On Thursday, May 12th, the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the FY12 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The bill provides $40.6 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security, a decrease of $1.1 billion (2.6%) from the Fiscal Year 2011 level and $3 billion below the Administration’s request. (The Committee’s press release on the bill can be viewed here.)
The draft bill makes significant cuts to several programs of importance to the fire and emergency services. The Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) Grant Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program would be funded at a total of $350 million ($200m for FIRE and $150m for SAFER). The programs were funded at $810 million ($405 million for each) in Fiscal Year 2011.
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would be cut by more than $3 million. The draft legislation provides only $42.5 million for USFA, down from nearly $45.6 million in Fiscal Year 2011.
Additionally, the draft bill provides $1 billion to be distributed at the discretion of the Secretary between several programs, including:
State Homeland Security Grant Program
Urban Area Security Initiative (USAI)
Metropolitan Medical Response System
Public Transportation Security Assistance and Railroad Security Assistance
Over-the-Road Security Assistance
Port Security Grants
Driver’s License Security Grant Program
Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program
This somewhat unusual provision represents a significant cut to these critical programs. In Fiscal Year 2011, the State Homeland Security Grant Program and UASI were funded at $725 million each.
The House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee has scheduled a mark-up for Friday, May 12th at 11:00 a.m. in Room HC-5 of the Capitol Building.
“While very disappointing, it is important to note that this is just the first step in the lengthy appropriations process” said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. “We will continue to work with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, as well as all of our allies on Capitol Hill, to ensure our nation’s fire and emergency services have the resources they need to protect our homeland.”
CFSI will continue to provide updates throughout the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations process.
UPCOMING CONGRESSIONAL SCHEDULE
May 13, 2011
House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Homeland Security
Members of the House will be in their districts for a Constituent Work Week. As always, members of the fire and emergency services are encouraged to meet with their members of Congress to discuss your concerns.