Legislative Update: Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Posted on: June 1st, 2011 by Deborah Cox

On May 13, the House Appropriations Committee released the subcommittee draft of the FY2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.  The legislation was marked-up in subcommittee on May 23 and is among the first Appropriations bills to move through subcommittee this year.  Overall, the FY2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill provides $40.6 billion in total non-emergency funding for the various programs and agencies within U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is a decrease of $1.1 billion, or 2.6 percent, below last year’s level and $3 billion below the President’s FY2012 request.

The bill includes $5.3 billion for FEMA, a decrease of $1.9 billion from last year’s level and severely cuts funding for many programs important to states, local governments and public safety agencies nationwide.  Additionally, the legislation proposes a major consolidation of FEMA programs into the single line item “State and Local Programs.” Specifically, the legislation combines the State Homeland Security Grant Program, Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program, Metropolitan Medical Response System, Citizen Corps Program, Rail and Transit Grants, Intercity Bus Security Grants, Port Security Grants, Interoperable Emergency Communications Grants and DHS/FEMA Training, Technical Assistance and Exercises into one single line item and provides $1 billion to be used at the discretion of the DHS Secretary to award future grants to States, local governments and public safety agencies.  The legislation gives the Secretary of DHS 60 days after the enactment of this legislation to provide an expenditure plan for these programs to the Appropriations Committee.  Below is a summary of key bill highlights:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):  The bill includes $5.3 billion for FEMA, a decrease of $1.9 billion from last year’s level.

  • FEMA State and Local Programs: The bill provides $1 billion for FEMA’s State and Local Programs, a decrease of $2.1 billion from last year’s level, and includes increased oversight and prioritization of funding to address critical needs and high-risk areas, and a report on the expenditure of the current $13 billion in backlogged, unexpended grant funds leftover from previous years.  To address these challenges, the bill requires increased measurement, reporting, and oversight of existing funds, and permits the Secretary of DHS to issue grants in a competitive, merit-based process to prioritize areas with the highest risk and greatest need.
  • Disaster Relief Fund (DRF): The bill includes $2.65 billion for the DRF, an increase of $850 million from the current level.  The legislation directs FEMA to submit an expenditure plan to the Appropriations Committee no later than 60 days after the enactment of this bill.
  • Emergency Management Performance Grants: The bill fully funds Emergency Management Performance Grants at $350 million.
  • Firefighter Assistance Grants: The bill provides $350 million for firefighter assistance grants, a cut of $460 million from the FY2010 level. 
  • National Flood Insurance Fund:  The bill provides $170 million in funding for the National Flood Insurance Fund.  Of this amount, $149 million is for flood plain management and flood mapping, and $40,000 for flood mitigation assistance.
  • Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program: The bill provides $102.7 million for flood mapping, down from the current level of $182 million.
  • National Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund: The bill provides $40 million for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund, down from $100 million in FY2010.
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