Order Code RS22596
Updated January 25, 2008
FY2008 Appropriations for State and Local
Analyst in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
Congress appropriated $4,228 million for FY2008 Department of Homeland
Security assistance programs for states and localities, which is $841 million more than
the FY2007 appropriation of $3,387 million. The Administration had requested an
appropriation of $2,196 million, which was $1,191 million less than the FY2007
appropriated amount. The House-passed appropriation of $4,306 million for state and
local programs was $920 million more than the FY2007 appropriated amount. The
Senate committee reported Senate-passed appropriation of $4,136 million for state and
local programs was $749 million more than the FY2007 appropriation. This report will
not be updated.
This report is an overview of the FY2008 appropriation for the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) assistance programs for states and localities. DHS’s assistance
or activities are designed to provide assistance to state and local first responders —
firefighters, emergency medical personnel, emergency managers, and law enforcement
The Office of Grant Programs within the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) is responsible for facilitating and coordinating DHS state and local assistance
programs. The office administers formula and discretionary grant programs to further
state and local homeland security capabilities. As a result of the reorganization mandated
by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-295), the
work of the Office of Grant Programs has been separated from FEMA training activities.
FEMA’s National Integration Center within the agency’s National Preparedness
Directorate administers training, exercises, and technical assistance for states and
localities. DHS’s assistance programs for states and localities include:
State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP);
Law Enforcement Terrorist Prevention Program (LETPP);
Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI);
Port Security Program;
Transit Security Program;
Intercity Bus Security Program;
Trucking Security Program;
Buffer Zone Protection;
Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE);
Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG);
Citizen Corps Program (CCP);
Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS);
Training, technical assistance, exercises, and evaluation;
Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Grants;
Interoperable Communications Grants;
Real ID Grants;
Emergency Operations Center; and
Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grants.
The programs, which are intended to help state and local recipients enhance their
preparedness for terrorist attacks and catastrophic events, are administered by the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS).1
President’s Request. The President’s FY2008 request of $2,196 million for state
and local programs; $1,191 million less than the FY2007 appropriated amount of $3,387
million. The Administration did not request funding for LETTP; instead it requested that
$63 million of the $250 million sought for SHSGP and $200 million of the $800 million
for UASI be used for law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.2 If funded as
proposed, this could have resulted in fewer funds for the states — $188 million in
FY2008 (versus $525 million in FY2007) for SHSGP activities, and $600 million (versus
$770 million in FY2007) for high-threat urban areas seeking to fund UASI activities.
House-passed H.R. 2638. The House-passed appropriation of $4,306 million
for state and local programs was $920 million more than the FY2007 appropriated amount
of $3,387 million. The House would have provided funding for LETTP ($400 million)
even though the Administration had requested no line item funding for the program.
Additionally, contrary to the Administration’s request, the House proposed funding for
MMRS ($50 million), Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Grants ($20 million),
Interoperable Communications Grants ($50 million), and Real ID Grants ($50 million).
Senate-passed H.R. 2638. The Senate approved an appropriation of $4,136
million for state and local programs, $749 million more than the FY2007 appropriation
of $3,387 million. Like the House, the Senate would have funded LETTP ($375 million),
and would have also funded MMRS ($33 million), Commercial Equipment Direct
Assistance Grants ($20 million), Interoperable Communications Grants ($50 million), and
Real ID Grants ($50 million).
Programs not covered include general assistance programs that are authorized for a broad range
of public safety activities, such as Justice Assistance Grants and Community Oriented Policing
Services. Nor does this report track appropriations for bioterrorism preparedness and National
U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Fiscal Year 2008 Budget of the United States
Government (Washington: GPO, 2007), Appendix, p. 480.
Division E of P.L. 110-161. Congress appropriated $4,228 million for state and
local programs, $749 million more than the FY2007 appropriation of $3,387 million.
There is no separate line item for LETTP, however, in accordance with the Implementing
Recommendations of the 9-11 Commission Act (P.L. 110-53) grant recipients are to
obligate no less than 25% of their SHSGP and UASI allocations on law enforcement
terrorism prevention activities. Additionally, Congress appropriated $15 million for
Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), even though neither the House nor the Senate had
proposed funding for EOCs.3 Additionally, Congress appropriated $110 million in
emergency funding. $60 million of emergency funding — included in the $950 million
for SHSGP — is for Operation Stonegarden. Operation Stonegarden assists state and
local law enforcement border security operations in four Southwestern states.4 The
remaining $50 million of emergency funding is for the Real ID program.
Table 1 compares the FY2007 appropriations, Administration’s FY2008 budget
request, House- and Senate-passed H.R. 2638, and P.L. 110-161.
Table 1. State and Local Homeland Security Assistance Programs:
FY2007 and FY2008 Appropriations
(amounts in millions)
State Homeland Security
Grant Program (SHSGP)
Urban Area Security
Port Security Program
Transit Security Program
Intercity Bus Security
Buffer Zone Protection
P.L. 110-161, Div. E, Title III.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Press Secretary, “DHS Expands Operation
Stonegarden to Bolster Border Security Efforts,” available at [http://test.rwb.gov
.edgesuite.net/dhspublic/display?content=5332], visited Jan. 24, 2008.
Assistance to Firefighters
Citizen Corps Programs
Assistance, Exercises, and
Direct Assistance Grants
Real ID Grants
a. Of the $250 million requested for SHSGP, $63 million would have been allocated for law enforcement
terrorism prevention activities.
b. Of the $800 million requested for UASI, $200 million would have been allocated for law enforcement
terrorism prevention activities.
c. Of the $820 million appropriated for UASI, $15 million is for non-profit organizations’ security.
d. Of this $299 million: $88 million is for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium; $63 million
is for the Center for Domestic Preparedness; $50 million is for the National Exercise Program; $12
million is for technical assistance; $28 is for Demonstration Training Grants; $31 million is for
Continuing Training Grants; $19 million is for evaluations and assessments; and $9 million is for the
Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium.
Issues for Congress. Two issues appear to have dominated congressional debate
on the FY2008 request for homeland security grant funds — the method by which funds
are allocated among the states and the proposed reduction in Assistance to Firefighters
Grant Program (FIRE) appropriations. These issues are discussed below.
Distribution Methods for State and Local Programs. For years, since
publication of the final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the
United States (often referred to as the 9/11 Commission), Members of Congress have
debated the formula or process to be used in distributing federal homeland security grant
funds. The 9/11 Commission recommended that funds should be distributed based on
threat and risk assessments. While debate has ensued on this recommendation, certain
program funds have been distributed pursuant to the formula set out in Section 1014 of
the USA Patriot Act (P.L. 107-56). This statute guaranteed each state a minimum of
0.75% of total appropriations for domestic preparedness programs.
The Administration requested that FY2008 funds for only the Emergency
Management Performance Grants (EMPG) and Citizen Corps Programs (CCP) be
distributed pursuant to the Section 1014 formula. Additionally, the Administration
proposed that SHSGP be a discretionary program, but guaranteed each state a minimum
of 0.25% of total appropriations. Certain Members of Congress did not agree with this
proposal. Neither the House-passed nor Senate-passed versions of H.R. 2638 included
provisions to alter the funding distribution method because the issue was included in
debate on other legislation, H.R. 1 and S. 4. With enactment of this legislation (P.L. 11053, Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007), FY2008 funding
allocations will be based upon a different formula. The minimum allocation for each state
for SHSGP grants will be 0.375% of total SHSGP and UASI appropriations in FY2008,
with the floor eventually reduced to 0.35% of the total SHSGP and UASI appropriations
in FY2012.5 While some may contend that this agreement resolves the debate that has
been the focus of congressional attention for years, others might argue that SHSGP would
not be a discretionary program if there is a guaranteed minimum amount for states each
Reduction in Funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Program.
Administration budget proposals have typically recommended significant cuts for fire
grants, as well as zero funding for SAFER grants. Opponents of the cuts have argued that
the reduced levels are inadequate to meet the needs of fire departments, while the
Administration has argued that reduced levels are sufficient to enhance critical
capabilities in the event of a terrorist attack or major disaster. For FY2008, the
Administration proposed $300 million for fire grants in FY2008, a 45% cut from the
FY2007 level. No funding was proposed for SAFER grants. The total request for
Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) was 55% below the FY2007 level for fire and
SAFER grants combined.
The FY2008 budget proposal eliminated grants for
wellness/fitness activities and modifications to facilities for firefighter safety. The budget
justification requested funding for “applications that enhance the most critical capabilities
of local response to fire-related hazards in the event of a terrorist attack or major disaster.”
The budget justification also stated that the requested level of funding is “an appropriate
level of funding given the availability of significant amounts of funding for first responder
preparedness missions from other DHS grant programs which are better coordinated with
state and local homeland security strategies and, unlike AFG, are allocated on the basis
On June 5, 2007, the House Appropriations Committee recommended an
appropriation of $570 million for fire grants and $230 million for the Staffing for
Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program. The Committee
directed FEMA to: continue providing funds directly to local fire departments; include
the U.S. Fire Administration during the grant administration process; maintain an
all-hazards focus; and, not limit the list of eligible activities. The Committee also
expressed concern that large numbers of fire grant applications never reach the peer
P.L. 110-53, Title I, Sec. 101, “Sec. 2004,(e)(1)(A).”
review stage. The Committee report directed the Government Accountability Office
(GAO) to review the application and award process for fire and SAFER grants, and
directed FEMA to peer review all grant applications that meet basic eligibility
requirements. On June 15, 2007, the House passed H.R. 2638, including an amendment
adding $5 million to the SAFER account. Thus, the final House-passed bill provided
$570 million for fire grants and $235 million for SAFER.
On June 14, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the
FY2008 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security. As reported, the
bill would provide $560 million for fire grants and $140 million for SAFER. The Senate
Committee directed DHS to continue the present practice of funding applications
according to local priorities, as well as those established by the United States Fire
Administration. The Committee further directed DHS to continue to direct funding to fire
departments and to the peer review process. Additionally, the Committee directed that
$3 million be available for foam firefighter equipment in remote areas. On July 26, 2007,
the Senate-passed version of H.R. 2638 included an amendment adding $5 million to the
SAFER account. Thus, the final Senate-passed bill provided $560 million for fire grants
and $145 million for SAFER.
Division E of P.L. 110-161 provided $560 million for fire grants and $190 million
for SAFER grants, a total of $750 million for firefighter assistance in FY2008. As stated
in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying P.L. 110-161, $3 million was made
available for foam firefighter equipment used in remote areas, to be competitively
awarded. GAO was directed to review the application and award process for fire and
SAFER grants, and FEMA was directed to peer review all grant applications that meet
criteria established by FEMA and the fire service.