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Firehouse.Com News

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program has $105 million less to provide in FY2006 while the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program grew by nearly 70 percent.

With unanimous approval Friday, the Senate sent President Bush for his signature the $31.9 billion Department of Homeland Security budget, boosting the DHS budget by 5 percent. But the bill cuts funding for first-responder grants for states and local governments by about 17 percent.

The numbers of interest are $110 million for SAFER and $545 million for AFG, which is a total of $155 million more than the President’s original request.

The U.S. Fire Administration, a unit of FEMA in DHS also had its budget cut for next year by about $11 million to $44,948.000, according to figures from the Congressional Fire Services Institute.

President Bush’s FY2006 budget proposal included only $500 million for the AFG and no funding for SAFER, severely cutting the funding levels of $650 million for the Fire Grant Program and $65 million for the SAFER Program in FY2005.