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Location: Washignton, DC


On Thursday, June 7th, the House approved H.R. 5855, the Fiscal Year 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, by a vote of 234-182. The bill funds the programs and activities of the Department of Homeland Security through September 30, 2013.


The bill, as originally introduced, made a slight cut to the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) Grant Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program. Initially the measure allocated $5 million less than the Fiscal Year 2012 level of $675 million (split equally between the two programs).  An amendment to restore the programs to the FY12 level was offered by Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-3) and Congressman Larry Kissell (NC-8) and approved by the House by voice vote on Wednesday, June 6th.  The Senate version of the FY13 spending bill, S. 3216, also funds FIRE and SAFER at the FY12 level.


Also on Wednesday, the House approved another amendment by voice vote offered by Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-13) and Congressman Gerald Connolly (VA-11) to restore a portion of the funding cut from the Urban Search and Rescue Response System (US&R).  The bill originally allocated $27,513,000 for this critical program (in FY12, the program was funded at $41,250,000). The Grimm/Connolly amendment increased funding to $35,180,000, the same amount contained in the Senate bill. 


Unfortunately, H.R. 5855 funds the United States Fire Administration (USFA) at $42,460,000, a reduction of $1.578 million below the FY12 level of $44,038,000.  The Senate bill funds USFA at $44,020,000, nearly the same level as the current fiscal year.


The Senate is expected to address the spending bill later this summer. CFSI will continue to provide updates throughout the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations process.