The U.S. Senate yesterday approved H.R. 933, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, by a vote of 73 to 26. The Senate bill funds the government through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The bill now returns to the House for its consideration.
"Working across the aisle and across the dome, the Senate has come together to prevent a government shutdown," said Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), in a statement.
RELATED: H.R. 933 2012 Appropriations Act
If H.R. 933 is passed in the House, the Assistance to Firefighters and SAFER grant programs will be funded at $675 million for FY 2013 or $337.5 million for each program. Funding levels in H.R 933 still will be subject to sequestration cuts at 5.1% for each grant, bringing the appropriations level to $320 million for each program.
However, a special provision in the H.R. 933 Senate version puts administrative expenses for the fire grants programs in a different part of the bill, meaning the 5.1% sequestration cut will be offset by a reduction in administrative expenses (approximately 5%) from the programs, according to FAMA and FEMSA.
RELATED: FEMA's FY 2013 sequestration cuts
In early March,announced it would be reducing its state and local grant funding by more than $100 million, a cut necessitated by the sequestration order. It was expected to result in a reduction to FEMA's state and local grant funding levels equaling $104 million.
Thedistributed a call to action on March 5, asking members of the fire service to consider making their voice heard regarding the presidential order mandating an across-the-board cut to federal programs.
FAMA and FEMSA request members of the fire service continue to advocate for federal funding and encourage people to register for 2013 Hill Day, May 8-9 in Washington D.C. The event is held in conjunction with the Congressional Fire Services Institute's Dinner and Seminars in order to thank members of Congress who helped in the effort.