House approves Fire Grants and Safety Act, bill moves to Senate

May 9, 2024

House passes S.870 with overwhelming support

The House of Representatives has approved the Fire Grants and Safety Act (S.870) by a decisive vote of 393 to 13, signaling a robust bipartisan endorsement of the measure.

This legislation is crucial for the continuation of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant Program (SAFER), and the United States Fire Administration (USFA).

As reported by the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), the passage of this bill represents a significant achievement orchestrated with the aid of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

Senate’s urgent response required

The bill now heads to the Senate, which needs to act swiftly as the programs face a statutory sunset on September 30.

The Senate had previously passed an earlier version of S.870 in April 2023 with a vote of 95-2.

However, it must now approve this House-amended version to ensure that the President can sign it into law.

The approval would reauthorize the AFG, SAFER, and USFA through the fiscal year 2028 and extend their sunset dates to September 30, 2030.

The CFSI said it will continue to monitor and report on the Senate’s actions regarding this bill.

They have also called for public support to urge Senators to pass S.870 and ensure the continuation of AFG and SAFER programs.

FSJA comment

The passage of S.870 by the House of Representatives marks a proactive step toward securing the future of essential fire safety and emergency response programs in the United States.

The overwhelming support for the bill highlights the collective acknowledgment of the importance of these programs by lawmakers.

As the Senate prepares to review the amended bill, the fire services community watches closely, hopeful for a favorable outcome that will solidify the operational framework of AFG, SAFER, and USFA for the next decade.

This legislative action not only affects the immediate funding but also the strategic capabilities of fire services across the nation.

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