Congress Passes Yearlong Funding Bill for DHS and FEMA

On March 3, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015, providing funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through September 30, 2015. The bill includes $340 million each for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) programs, as well as $44 million for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). These funding levels are consistent with what the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) requested in March 2014, when Congress first started working on FY 2015 appropriations.
On February 20, the NVFC called on Congress to provide full-year FY 2015 funding for FEMA and DHS. On February 27 Congress agreed to a one-week extension of funding for DHS to prevent a partial shutdown of the agency. Passage of H.R. 240 will keep DHS operating through the end of the current fiscal year and allows agencies such as FEMA to move forward with implementing FY 2015 programs, including AFG and SAFER.