In Jan., Congress and President Obama temporarily averted automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect automatically by passing H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act. H.R. 8 delayed until March 1 the first round of automatic spending cuts, scheduled to reduce the budget deficit by approximately $85 billion in FY 2013 and $1.2 trillion over 10 years. This would be accomplished by cutting discretionary federal spending, including on fire service programs like the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, and the U.S. Fire Administration (), according to the NVFC.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has called on Senate Democrats and the president to put a plan on the table to replace the automatic spending cuts without raising additional tax revenue. President Obama, meanwhile, has called on Congress to propose a short-term deficit reduction package that includes both revenue increases and targeted spending cuts.
The National Volunteer Fire Council recently asked Congress to provide “no less than level funding for AFG, SAFER, and USFA for FY 2013, which would mean $337.5 million each for AFG and SAFER and $44 million for USFA.”
The council offers Action Alerts when Congress is considering legislation affecting AFG, SAFER, USFA, and other important emergency services issues. Sign up for alerts.