On Wednesday, June 1, 2011, the House began floor debate of HR. 2017, the FY 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.
By a vote of 333-87, the House passed an amendment to increase funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and SAFER programs by a total of $320 million over the full Appropriation committee’s bill. The amendment will fund AFG and SAFER at $335 million each. The Committee’s bill would have funded AFG at $200 million and SAFER at $150 million.
The bi-partisan amendment was co-sponsored by Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH) and Bill Pascrell Jr., (D-NJ) and was funded by offsets from DHS management and operations accounts.
While the amendment represents a major victory for the Fire and Rescue coalition, the fact remains that with these numbers, each program would see a $70 million cut over its FY 2011 funding level of $405 million.
Final vote on the overall bill is expected today.