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Press Release from Feds....

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  • Press Release from Feds....

    Below is a press release put out by the House Appropriations Committee regarding the initial Chairman's mark of the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. The Subcommittee is still meeting and it hasn't gone to full committee yet, so none of this is final.

    The bill provides $750 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant. This is the same amount that was appropriated in FY 2003 and is $250 million more than the President requested in his budget.


    June 12, 2003

    Highlights of the FY04 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

    The Chairman’s mark provides $29.4 for operations and activities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in fiscal year 2004, an increase of $535.7 million (1.8 percent) above the fiscal year 2003 enacted levels and $1 billion (3.7 percent) above the President’s request.

    The Chairman’s mark recognizes that, while the Department of Homeland Security has the lead in developing our national homeland security strategy, implementation of the strategy requires the active participation of state and local governments and the private sector. It also recognizes that many of the agencies merged into DHS on March 1, 2003 have traditional missions that must continue in concert with newly established priorities for homeland security. The bill strikes a balance between these missions and supports partnerships with state and local governments and the private sector as we seek ways to protect our country from future terrorist attacks.

    For a summary table w/ amount got to:

    Supporting State and Local First Responders

    The mark provides $4.4 billion for the Office of Domestic Preparedness, Firefighters, and Emergency Management; this is $888 million above the amounts proposed by the President. Since September 11th, and including the amounts requested by the President for grants funded outside the jurisdiction of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, this brings total support of First Responders to $20.8 billion. Specifically, the mark includes:

    $1.9 billion for the Office for Domestic Preparedness’ basic formula grant program;

    $500 million for state and local law enforcement terrorism prevention grants;

    $500 million for high-threat, high-density urban areas;

    $200 million Infrastructure Grants;

    $750 million for Firefighter Grants;

    $168 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants;

    $35 million for a new competitive grant program for Centers for Emergency Preparedness;

    $125 million for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium: and

    $134 million for technical assistance, national exercises, standards, and testing.

    Protecting our Nation’s Borders

    The Chairman’s mark provides $9 billion for border protection and related activities, an increase of $400 million over fiscal year 2003 enacted levels (excluding Liberty Shield Coast Guard port security operations). This includes $2 billion for U.S. Coast Guard homeland security activities. Specific initiatives and efforts for border security include:

    $100 million for TSA port security grants, bringing the total to $488 million since September 11th;

    $129 million for inspection technologies for vehicles and cargo;

    $61.7 million for the Container Security Initiative;

    $12.1 million for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism;

    $175 million for Air and Marine Interdiction for border and airspace security; and

    $530 million for “Deepwater”.

    Enhancing Transportation Security

    The mark includes $5.172 billion for TSA, $360 million above the amounts requested by the President (including port security grants), funding for both aviation and non-aviation security:

    $1.673 billion for passenger screening;

    $1.284 billion for baggage screening efforts, including $235 million for the in line installation of explosive detection systems and $100 million for procurement of additional systems;
    $50 million for air cargo security;
    $10 million for intercity bus security;
    $22 million for highway and trucking security; and
    $10 million for transit security and training.

    Using Science and Technology to Protect our Nation

    The mark includes $900 million for Science and Technology, $97 million above amounts requested by the President. Funds are targeted to research, development, and deployment of innovative technologies, including those proposed by universities, national laboratories, not-for-profit organizations, and private companies:

    $484 million for development of nuclear, chemical, biological, and high explosives countermeasures;
    $80 million for the rapid development and prototyping of homeland security technologies;
    $60 million for research, development, and testing of antimissile devices for commercial aircraft;
    $40 million to deploy sensors to detect aerosolized bio-threats in large metropolitan areas; and
    $35 million for university-based centers of excellence.

    Protecting the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

    The mark includes $776 million for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure and key assets, an increase of $591 million over fiscal year 2003 enacted levels.

    $76 million for intelligence and warnings to develop timely, integrated, and accurate assessments of terrorist threats;

    $536.8 million for reducing the nation’s vulnerability to terrorism, minimizing the damage, and assisting in the recovery from terrorist acts; and

    $163 million for administrative and outreach activities with federal, state, and local governments, and with the private sector which owns and operates 85 percent of the nation’s infrastructure.

    Supporting Traditional Missions such as Immigration, Disaster Mitigation and Relief, Drug Interdiction, Law Enforcement, Maritime Safety and Security, and Trade

    $918 million for modernization of border, customs and immigration information technology, including $350 million for the US VISIT program and $318 million for the Automated Commercial Environment;

    $2.611 billion for traditional Coast Guard operating activities, including maritime safety, drug interdiction, fisheries, environmental, and humanitarian missions;

    $1.15 billion for the U.S. Secret Service;

    $1.8 billion for Disaster Relief;

    $9.5 million for textile transshipment;

    $238 million for immigration services; and

    $35 million for Emergency Operations Centers, a new competitive grant program to support community emergency operations centers.

    Other Provisions

    $5.6 billion over 10 years to encourage commercial development and production of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism (Bioshield), $890 million of which is available in fiscal year 2004;

    This press release forwarded courtesy of NVFC and PFESI.

    No guarantees, but at least it looks like the committee wants it to continue in its present form. Good news for us. Call your representatives and make sure they support the 2004 FireACT.
    Brian P. Vickers
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

  • #2
    That's all fine, but I have one question. If the current firefighter grants are going to possibly take until June of 2004 to complete distribution, how does a department at the bottom of the list know if his 2003 grant will be funded or not and what they should apply for in the 2004 grant?

    I say until June 2004 for completion based on this statement:

    "This round announces 219 departments with grant amounts totaling $13,271,222. Thomas Olshanski, USFA Executive Assistant for Public, Media and External Affairs said this would be the typical numbers released weekly which will go on into 2004."

    FY2003 Appropriation: $700,000,000.00 (Roughly)
    divided by: $13,271,222.00
    Equals: 52 Announcement

    If they do 1 per week, that's 1 year to announce all of them.

    Any ideas on this?

    I'm glad their already looking at money for next year, but they need to more focused on getting the funds they've already got appropriated to the departments that are going to get them this year. I would think if the government can get all the $400.00 child tax credit checks sent out in a 2 or 3 months time frame, they could speed up this process with a little more effort.


    • #3
      By law, they must have all of the money apportioned by September 30th, 2003. In Fed-Speak, that means that they must have all of the awards identified by then, so that all of the money is spoken for. That doesn't mean that they will tell us who the money is going to, of course, that just means that they have "spent" the money as required. It was the same the last two years also. The funds were allocated, but the public release was not made until a later date. I would hope that they make all of the pre-notifications prior to the close of next year's application period. I would imagine that they send out a month's worth of 6 question emails/phone calls, and 1199A links at a time, so that everyone gets an inkling prior to 2004's closing date. The Dear John's will go out in July & August, so for some, the waiting will be over earlier than we had hoped.
      Brian P. Vickers
      Emergency Services Consulting
      Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
      Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


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