Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding [June 8, 2012]   [open pdf - 334KB]

"Because the 111th Congress did not enact the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act, the 112th Congress may revisit the issue, and may consider whether and how to modify the reauthorization bills. On March 10, 2011, S. 550, the Fire Grants Authorization Act of 2011, was introduced; on May 18, 2011, S. 550 was ordered to be reported by the committee. On June 22, 2011, a House version of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2011 (H.R. 2269) was introduced. Debate over the AFG [Assistance to Firefighters Grant] reauthorization has reflected a competition for funding between career/urban/suburban departments and volunteer/rural departments. The urgency of this debate could be heightened by possible reductions of overall AFG funding and the economic downturn in many local communities increasingly hard pressed to allocate funding for their local fire departments. Meanwhile, the second session of the 112th Congress is considering the Administration's FY2013 request for AFG and SAFER [Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters]. As is the case with many federal programs, concerns in the 112th Congress over the federal budget deficit could impact budget levels for AFG and SAFER. At the same time, firefighter assistance budgets will likely receive heightened scrutiny from the fire community, given the national economic downturn and local budgetary cutbacks that many fire departments are now facing."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32341
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