Washington, D.C. – On June 17, The House Appropriations Committee approved a $29.4 billion fiscal 2004 Homeland Security appropriations bill by voice vote. The bill, one of 13 Congress must pass each year to fund the federal government and the first ever for the new department, would boost homeland security funding in the coming fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1, by around $1 billion more than the White House had requested. The Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), had approved the bill on June 12.
More specifically, the bill provides $750 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. This is the same amount that was appropriated in FY 2003 and is $250 million more than the President requested in his budget. Combined, all of the programs for first responders would be funded at $4.4 billion under the bill, which is $888 million more than Bush requested.
The legislation must still be considered by the full House, go through the same process in the Senate before going to a Conference Committee and eventually to the President.
Highlights of the Bill include:
- $1.9 billion for the Office for Domestic Preparedness’ basic formula grant program;
- $500 million for state and local law enforcement terrorism prevention grants;
- $500 million for high-threat, high-density urban areas;
- $200 million Infrastructure Grants;
- $750 million for Firefighter Grants;
- $168 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants;
- $35 million for a new competitive grant program for Centers for Emergency Preparedness;
- $125 million for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium; and
- $134 million for technical assistance, national exercises, standards, and testing.