President’s FY 2014 Budget Request Proposes Cuts to AFG/SAFER and the US Fire Administration

On April 10, President Obama submitted the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget for the United States Government to Congress. The budget request proposes reducing funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs by $2.5 million each from the FY 2013 level of $337.5 million. The President is also requesting $41.3 million for the United States Fire Administration (USFA). This represents a $2.7 million reduction that includes cuts to support for state fire training academies, National Fire Academy course delivery, revision and development efforts, and funding for wildland fire initiatives.

The President’s budget would eliminate the automatic sequester, which resulted in an across-the-board five percent rescission for most non-defense discretionary spending accounts, including AFG/SAFER and USFA in FY 2013. The President is proposing that the savings from the automatic sequester be replaced by raising taxes and cutting entitlement spending to reduce the budget deficit.

Under the President’s budget, AFG and SAFER program management and administration costs would be paid for out of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Salaries and Expenses account rather than being taken from funds appropriated for the programs themselves. This practice was established in the recently-enacted FY 2013 appropriations bill.

“The President’s budget request is the first step in the appropriations process,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “The NVFC will work closely with Congress to ensure that adequate support is provided to critical fire and emergency services programs and agencies.”

The entire FY 2014 Budget for the United States Government is available for download at Or view a detailed explanation from the Office of Management and Budget of the request for FEMA’s State and Local Programs (including AFG and SAFER) and USFA .

Use the NVFC’s Capwiz service to ask your U.S. Representative to sign onto a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking that AFG and SAFER funding not be cut in FY 2014. The deadline to sign onto this letter has been extended to April 17.