Sen. Chris Coons secured funding for Federal Emergency Management Agency, the nation’s fire services and the U.S. Coast Guard in the Homeland Security appropriations bill, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 21 with bipartisan support.
“Securing America’s borders and keeping our communities safe is a never-ending task,” said Coons. “I’m particularly proud to have secured critical funding for Fire and SAFER grants as well as the U.S. Coast Guard in this legislation. Congress must ensure that the Department of Homeland Security has the tools it needs to respond to the evolving threats, and this bipartisan bill does just that,” said Coons.
Coons advocated strongly for $11.69 billion to fund FEMA, $7.23 billion of which will be directed toward the Disaster Relief Fund. The bill includes strong support for state and local first responders and emergency management personnel, providing a total of $3.27 billion for grant and training programs, including $700 million for the nation’s fire services, $350 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants and $350 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants, which directly helps local fire departments increase the number of trained firefighters available in their communities. Additionally, the bill provides $512 million for State Homeland Security grants, $100 million each for Port and Transit Security grants and $250 million for pre-disaster mitigation.The appropriations bill includes $10.19 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard, which will support a robust U.S. Coast Guard operations and support budget, including additional military personnel. Coons fought to secure additional funding for the U.S. Coast Guard Shore Facilities and Aids to Navigation account at $255 million. This funding will help vessels navigate safely and efficiently when moving cargo on America’s waterways. Coons said he hopes a portion of this funding will be directed to the repair of the many priority aids to navigation on the Delaware River.