Update on AFG and SAFER Funding and Reauthorization

Capitol building lit up at nightThere has been big progress in the fight to reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). This week, the House of Representatives will vote on S. 870, The Fire Grants and Safety Act, which would reauthorize these programs through FY 2028.

Different versions of this bill passed the Senate by a vote of 95-2 in April 2023 and passed the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in June. If the current version of S. 870 passes the House, it will go back to the Senate, and if passed there, to the President’s desk. It is crucial that this bill gets sent to the President’s desk before September 30 to prevent the AFG and SAFER grant programs from shutting down due to their statutory sunset. Please tell your Representative to vote for S. 870 by using this Action Alert from the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC).

Unfortunately, Congress cut both AFG and SAFER funding by 10% in FY 2024, from $360 million per program to $324 million. The NVFC is working hard to restore and increase funding for these critically important programs. The NVFC is asking Congress to provide $405 million in FY 2025 funding for each program. The battle for this funding is off to a good start, with 123 Members of Congress cosigning a letter last month supporting the NVFC’s funding request.