On Thursday, July 9th, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security approved a draft Fiscal Year 2016 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The bill funds the department at $39.3 billion, $337 million less than the current fiscal year. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill on Tuesday, July 14th.
Several fire service programs are included in the bill. The Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants programs are funded at $340 million each. This is the same level the programs were funded at in both Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. Additionally, the bill funds the United States Fire Administration (USFA) at $44 million and the Urban Search and Rescue System (US&R) at $35.18 million. Both were also funded at the same levels the past two fiscal years.
On June 18th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY16 DHS spending bill, S. 1619. The Senate bill contains the same spending levels for FIRE, SAFER, USFA, and US&R as the bill currently under consideration by the House committee.