On Tuesday, February 9th, the White House released the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal, the final budget of the Obama Administration. The $4.23 trillion budget contains $40.6 billion for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Included in the proposed budget are several programs of importance to the nation’s fire and emergency services, including the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs. The budget proposal recommends funding FIRE and SAFER at a combined $670 million, with funds split equally between the two programs. This is a reduction of $20 million from the level enacted by Congress for Fiscal Year 2016. Additionally, the President’s budget proposes $40,811,513 for the United States Fire Administration and includes $1.5 million for infrastructure improvements at the National Fire Academy. Congress funded USFA at $44 million for Fiscal Year 2016.
“While it is frustrating the White House proposes spending cuts for these critical programs, ultimately it is the Congress that decides funding levels,” said Bill Webb, CFSI Executive Director. “CFSI will begin working with the other national fire service organizations and Congressional Fire Services Caucus to ensure these programs receive the necessary funding levels in Fiscal Year 2017.”
The White House budget proposal is the first step in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget process. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will now begin drafting funding bills for the individual departments of the federal government. CFSI will continue to provide updates throughout the Fiscal Year 2017 process.