During the week of June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider H.R. 2892, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 DHS Appropriations bill. Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Jason Altmire (D-PA), Steve Austria (R-OH), and Peter King (R-NY) are expected to offer an amendment to increase funding for the FIRE grant program by $40 million to reach $420 million.
The IAFC strongly urges you to call your Representative in support of the Pascrell amendment. The vote on this bipartisan amendment may occur as early as Tuesday, June 23.
Last year, Congress appropriated $565 million for the FIRE grant program and $210 million for the SAFER grant program. In his FY 2010 budget, President Obama proposed doubling the SAFER grant program to $420 million and cutting the FIRE grant program by almost 70% to $170 million. In their committee mark-up of H.R. 2892, Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Hal Rogers (R-KY) restored some of the funding to the FIRE grant program with a $380 million appropriation, and appropriated $420 million for the SAFER grant program to meet the President’s request. The Pascrell amendment would equalize funding for both the FIRE and SAFER grant programs at $420 million.
In contacting your Representatives, please remember:
You can find your Representative’s contact information on the U.S. House’s website
. Just type in your zip code on the top left-hand corner of the website and you will be linked to your Representative’s website. If you know your Representative’s name, you can call 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to his or her office.
Remember to ask to talk to the Legislative Assistant or Legislative Correspondent handling homeland security or fire service issues.
Be sure to highlight that the FIRE grant program uses a peer-review, merit-based process to send federal funds directly to local fire departments for equipment, training, and fire prevention programs.
Please mention if you have received a FIRE grant and how it helped your department, especially if it helped to save the lives of your firefighters or the public in your community.
This is one of our only opportunities to increase funding for the FIRE grant program this year, so we need you to contact your Representative in support of the Pascrell amendment to increase FIRE grant funding by $40 million.