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111th Congress                                            Rept. 111-333
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================



 
                FIRE GRANTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

                                _______
                                

November 7, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Gordon of Tennessee, from the Committee on Science and Technology, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3791]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Science and Technology, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 3791) to amend sections 33 and 34 of 
the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment.......................................................2
  II. Purpose of the Bill............................................10
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation........................10
  IV. Summary of Hearings............................................11
   V. Committee Actions..............................................12
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill........................13
 VII. Section-by-Section Analysis....................................14
VIII. Committee Views................................................18
  IX. Cost Estimate..................................................20
   X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................20
  XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4...............................22
 XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............22
XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........23
 XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................23
  XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................23
 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act...............................23
XVII. Earmark Identification.........................................23
XVIII.Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........23

 XIX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported..........23
  XX. Committee Recommendation.......................................43
 XXI. Additional Views...............................................44
XXII. Exchange of Committee Correspondence...........................48
XXIII.Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup.........................50

XXIV. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup......................112

                              I. Amendment

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 
2009''.

SEC. 2. ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS GRANT PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION.

  (a) In General.--Section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 33. FIREFIGHTER ASSISTANCE.

  ``(a) Assistance Program.--
          ``(1) Authority.--In accordance with this section, the 
        Director may--
                  ``(A) make grants on a competitive basis directly to 
                fire departments of a State, in consultation with the 
                chief executive of the State, for the purpose of 
                protecting the health and safety of the public and 
                firefighting personnel throughout the Nation against 
                fire and fire-related hazards;
                  ``(B) make grants on a competitive basis directly to 
                State fire training academies, in consultation with the 
                chief executive of the State, in accordance with 
                paragraph (11)(C);
                  ``(C) provide assistance for fire prevention and 
                firefighter safety research and development programs 
                and fire prevention or fire safety programs and 
                activities in accordance with paragraph (4); and
                  ``(D) provide assistance for volunteer, non-fire 
                service EMS and rescue organizations for the purpose of 
                paragraph (3)(F).
          ``(2) Administrative assistance.--The Director shall 
        establish specific criteria for the selection of recipients of 
        assistance under this section and shall provide grant-writing 
        assistance to applicants.
          ``(3) Use of fire department grant funds.--The Director may 
        make a grant under paragraph (1)(A) only if the applicant for 
        the grant agrees to use the grant funds for one or more of the 
        following purposes:
                  ``(A) To hire additional firefighting personnel.
                  ``(B) To train firefighting personnel in 
                firefighting, emergency medical services and other 
                emergency response (including response to a terrorism 
                incident or use of a weapon of mass destruction), arson 
                prevention and detection, maritime firefighting, or the 
                handling of hazardous materials or to train 
                firefighting personnel to provide any of the training 
                described in this subparagraph.
                  ``(C) To fund the creation of rapid intervention 
                teams to protect firefighting personnel at the scenes 
                of fires and other emergencies.
                  ``(D) To certify fire and building inspectors 
                employed by a fire department or serving as a volunteer 
                building inspector with a fire department.
                  ``(E) To establish wellness and fitness programs for 
                firefighting personnel to ensure that the firefighting 
                personnel can carry out their duties, including 
                programs dedicated to raising awareness of, and 
                prevention of, job-related mental health issues.
                  ``(F) To fund emergency medical services provided by 
                fire departments and volunteer, non-fire service EMS 
                and rescue organizations.
                  ``(G) To acquire additional firefighting vehicles, 
                including fire trucks.
                  ``(H) To acquire additional firefighting equipment, 
                including equipment for communications, monitoring, and 
                response to a terrorism incident or use of a weapon of 
                mass destruction.
                  ``(I) To acquire personal protective equipment 
                required for firefighting personnel by the Occupational 
                Safety and Health Administration and other personal 
                protective equipment for firefighting personnel, 
                including protective equipment to respond to a 
                terrorism incident or the use of a weapon of mass 
                destruction.
                  ``(J) To modify fire stations, fire training 
                facilities, and other facilities to protect the health 
                and safety of firefighting personnel.
                  ``(K) To enforce fire codes and standards.
                  ``(L) To fund fire prevention programs.
                  ``(M) To educate the public about arson prevention 
                and detection.
                  ``(N) To provide incentives for the recruitment and 
                retention of volunteer firefighting personnel for 
                volunteer firefighting departments and other 
                firefighting departments that utilize volunteers.
          ``(4) Fire prevention and firefighter safety research and 
        development programs.--
                  ``(A) In general.--For each fiscal year, the Director 
                shall use not less than 10 percent of the funds made 
                available under subsection (e)--
                          ``(i) to make grants to fire departments for 
                        the purpose described in paragraph (3)(L);
                          ``(ii) to make grants to, or enter into 
                        contracts or cooperative agreements with, 
                        national, State, local, or community 
                        organizations that are not fire departments 
                        but--
                                  ``(I) that are recognized for their 
                                experience and expertise with respect 
                                to fire prevention or fire safety 
                                programs and activities and that 
                                partner with fire departments, for the 
                                purpose of carrying out such programs 
                                and activities;
                                  ``(II) engage in fire- and life 
                                safety-related activities as a primary 
                                purpose or function, for the purpose of 
                                carrying out fire prevention or fire 
                                safety programs and activities; or
                                  ``(III) that are recognized for their 
                                experience and expertise with respect 
                                to firefighter research and development 
                                programs, for the purpose of carrying 
                                out research on fire prevention or fire 
                                safety programs and activities or to 
                                improve firefighter health and life 
                                safety; and
                          ``(iii) if the Director determines that it is 
                        necessary, to make grants or enter into 
                        contracts in accordance with subsection (c).
                  ``(B) Priority.--In selecting organizations described 
                in subparagraph (A)(ii) to receive assistance under 
                this paragraph, the Director shall give priority to 
                organizations that focus on prevention of injuries to 
                high risk groups from fire, as well as research 
                programs that demonstrate the potential to improve 
                firefighter safety.
                  ``(C) Grant limitation.--A grant under this paragraph 
                shall not exceed $1,500,000 for a fiscal year.
                  ``(D) Limitation.--None of the funds made available 
                under this paragraph may be provided to the Association 
                of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or 
                any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied 
                organizations.
          ``(5) Application.--The Director may provide assistance to a 
        fire department or organization (including a State fire 
        training academy) under this subsection only if the fire 
        department or organization seeking the assistance submits to 
        the Director an application that meets the following 
        requirements:
                  ``(A) Form.--The application shall be in such form as 
                the Director may require.
                  ``(B) Information.--The application shall include the 
                following information:
                          ``(i) Information that demonstrates the 
                        financial need of the applicant for the 
                        assistance for which applied.
                          ``(ii) An analysis of the costs and benefits, 
                        with respect to public safety, of the use of 
                        the assistance.
                          ``(iii) An agreement to provide information 
                        to the national fire incident reporting system 
                        for the period covered by the assistance.
                          ``(iv) A list of other sources of Federal 
                        funding received by the applicant.
                          ``(v) Any other information that the Director 
                        may require.
                  ``(C) Unnecessary duplication.--The Director, in 
                coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
                shall use the list provided under subparagraph (B)(iv) 
                to prevent the unnecessary duplication of grant funds.
          ``(6) Matching requirement.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraphs (B) and 
                (C) and paragraph (8), the Director may provide 
                assistance under this subsection only if the applicant 
                for such assistance agrees to match 10 percent of such 
                assistance for any fiscal year with an equal amount of 
                non-Federal funds.
                  ``(B) Requirement for small community 
                organizations.--In the case of an applicant whose 
                personnel serve jurisdictions of 20,000 or fewer 
                residents, the percent applied under the matching 
                requirement of subparagraph (A) shall be 5 percent.
                  ``(C) Fire prevention and firefighter safety grants 
                exception.--There shall be no matching requirement for 
                a grant described in paragraph (4).
          ``(7) Maintenance of expenditures.--Subject to paragraph (8), 
        the Director may provide assistance under this subsection only 
        if the applicant for the assistance agrees to maintain in the 
        fiscal year for which the assistance will be received the 
        applicant's aggregate expenditures for the uses described in 
        paragraph (3) or (4) at or above 80 percent of the average 
        level of such expenditures in the 2 fiscal years preceding the 
        fiscal year for which the assistance will be received.
          ``(8) Economic hardship waiver.--
                  ``(A) In general.--In exceptional circumstances, the 
                Director may waive or reduce the matching requirement 
                under paragraph (6) and the maintenance of expenditures 
                requirement under paragraph (7) for applicants facing 
                demonstrated economic hardship.
                  ``(B) Criteria development.--The criteria under which 
                the Director may waive or reduce such requirements 
                shall be developed in consultation with individuals who 
                are--
                          ``(i) recognized for expertise in 
                        firefighting, emergency medical services 
                        provided by fire services, or the economic 
                        affairs of State and local governments; and
                          ``(ii) members of national fire service 
                        organizations or national organizations 
                        representing the interests of State and local 
                        governments.
                  ``(C) Public availability.--The Director shall make 
                the criteria developed under subparagraph (B) publicly 
                available.
          ``(9) Variety of fire department grant recipients.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Of the amounts made available 
                under subsection (e), the Director shall ensure that 
                grants under paragraph (1)(A) for a fiscal year are 
                allocated, to the extent that there are eligible 
                applicants to carry out the activities under paragraph 
                (3), as follows:
                          ``(i) 25 percent shall be made available to 
                        career fire departments.
                          ``(ii) 25 percent shall be made available to 
                        volunteer fire departments.
                          ``(iii) 25 percent shall be made available to 
                        combination fire departments.
                  ``(B) Evaluation criteria.--
                          ``(i) In general.--In awarding grants under 
                        paragraph (1)(A), the Director shall, within 
                        each category of applicants under subparagraph 
                        (A), consider a broad range of factors 
                        important to the applicant's ability to respond 
                        to fires and related hazards, such as 
                        population served, geographic response area, 
                        hazard vulnerability, call volume, financial 
                        situation, and need for training or equipment.
                          ``(ii) High population and incident 
                        response.--In considering such factors under 
                        clause (i), applicants serving areas with high 
                        population and with a high number of incidents 
                        requiring a response shall receive a higher 
                        level of consideration.
                  ``(C) Remainder.--Of the amounts made available under 
                subsection (e) that are not allocated for use and 
                awarded under subparagraph (A) or designated for use 
                under any other provision of this section, the Director 
                shall provide for an open competition for grants among 
                career fire departments, volunteer fire departments, 
                and combination fire departments to carry out the 
                activities under paragraph (3).
          ``(10) Report to the director.--The Director may provide 
        assistance under this subsection only if the applicant for the 
        assistance agrees to submit to the Director a report, including 
        a description of how the assistance was used, with respect to 
        each fiscal year for which the assistance was received.
          ``(11) Grant limitations.--
                  ``(A) Recipient limitations.--A grant recipient under 
                paragraph (1)(A)--
                          ``(i) that serves a jurisdiction with 100,000 
                        people or less may not receive grants in excess 
                        of $1,000,000 for any fiscal year;
                          ``(ii) that serves a jurisdiction with more 
                        than 100,000 people but less than 500,000 
                        people may not receive grants in excess of 
                        $2,000,000 for any fiscal year;
                          ``(iii) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        500,000 people or more but less than 1,000,000 
                        people may not receive grants in excess of 
                        $3,000,000 for any fiscal year;
                          ``(iv) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        1,000,000 people or more but less than 
                        2,500,000 people may not receive grants in 
                        excess of $6,000,000 for any fiscal year; and
                          ``(v) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        2,500,000 people or more may not receive grants 
                        in excess of $9,000,000 for any fiscal year.
                The Director may award grants in excess of the 
                limitations provided in clauses (i), (ii), (iii), and 
                (iv) if the Director determines that extraordinary need 
                for assistance by a jurisdiction warrants a waiver.
                  ``(B) Limitation on expenditures for firefighting 
                vehicles.--Not more than 25 percent of the funds 
                appropriated to provide grants under this section for a 
                fiscal year may be used to assist grant recipients to 
                purchase vehicles, as authorized by paragraph (3)(G).
                  ``(C) State fire training academies.--
                          ``(i) In general.--In accordance with clause 
                        (ii), the Director shall award not more than 3 
                        percent of the amounts made available under 
                        subsection (e) for a fiscal year for grants 
                        under this subsection for State fire training 
                        academies.
                          ``(ii) Limitation.--The Director shall--
                                  ``(I) award not more than 1 grant 
                                under this subparagraph per State in a 
                                fiscal year;
                                  ``(II) limit the amount of a grant to 
                                a State fire training academy to less 
                                than or equal to$1,000,000 in each 
                                fiscal year; and
                                  ``(III) ensure that any grant awarded 
                                to a State fire training academy shall 
                                be used for the purposes described in 
                                paragraphs 3(G), 3(H), or 3(I).
                  ``(D) Requirements for grants for emergency medical 
                services.--The Director shall award not more than 2 
                percent of the amounts made available under subsection 
                (e) for a fiscal year to volunteer, non-fire service 
                EMS and rescue organizations for the purposes described 
                in paragraph (3)(F).
                  ``(E) Application of selection criteria to grant 
                applications from volunteer, non-fire service ems and 
                rescue organizations.--In reviewing applications 
                submitted by volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue 
                organizations, the Director shall consider the extent 
                to which other sources of Federal funding are available 
                to provide the assistance requested in such grant 
                applications.
                  ``(F) Consensus standards.--
                          ``(i) In general.--Any grant amounts used to 
                        obtain training under this section shall be 
                        limited to training that complies with 
                        applicable national voluntary consensus 
                        standards (if applicable national voluntary 
                        consensus standards have been established), 
                        unless a waiver has been granted under clause 
                        (ii).
                          ``(ii) Waiver.--
                                  ``(I) Explanation for non-standard 
                                training.--If an applicant for a grant 
                                seeks to use the assistance provided 
                                under the grant to obtain training that 
                                does not meet or exceed applicable 
                                voluntary consensus standards, the 
                                applicant shall include in the 
                                application an explanation of why such 
                                training will serve the needs of the 
                                applicant better than training that 
                                does meet or exceed such standards.
                                  ``(II) Procedures.--In making a 
                                determination whether or not to waive 
                                the requirement under clause (i) with 
                                respect to a specific standard, the 
                                Director shall, to the greatest extent 
                                practicable--
                                          ``(aa) consult with other 
                                        members of the fire services 
                                        regarding the impact on fire 
                                        departments of the requirement 
                                        to meet or exceed the specific 
                                        standard;
                                          ``(bb) take into 
                                        consideration the explanation 
                                        provided by the applicant under 
                                        subclause (I); and
                                          ``(cc) seek to minimize the 
                                        impact of the requirement to 
                                        meet or exceed the specific 
                                        standard on the applicant, 
                                        particularly if meeting the 
                                        standard would impose 
                                        additional costs.
                                  ``(III) Additional requests.--
                                Applicants that apply for a grant under 
                                the terms of subclause (I) may include 
                                a second grant request in the 
                                application to be considered by the 
                                Director in the event that the Director 
                                does not approve the primary grant 
                                request on the grounds of the training 
                                not meeting applicable voluntary 
                                consensus standards.
          ``(12) Eligible grantee on behalf of alaska native 
        villages.--The Alaska Village Initiatives, a non-profit 
        organization incorporated in the State of Alaska, shall be 
        considered an eligible grantee for purposes of receiving 
        assistance under this section on behalf of Alaska Native 
        villages.
          ``(13) Annual meeting.--The Director shall convene an annual 
        meeting of individuals who are members of national fire service 
        organizations and are recognized for expertise in firefighting 
        or emergency medical services provided by fire services, and 
        who are not employees of the Federal Government, for the 
        purpose of recommending criteria for awarding grants under this 
        section for the next fiscal year and any necessary 
        administrative changes to the grant program.
          ``(14) Guidelines.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Each year, prior to making any 
                grants under this section, the Director shall publish 
                in the Federal Register--
                          ``(i) guidelines that describe the process 
                        for applying for grants and the criteria for 
                        awarding grants;
                          ``(ii) an explanation of any differences 
                        between the guidelines and the recommendations 
                        made pursuant to paragraph (13); and
                          ``(iii) the criteria developed under 
                        paragraph (8) which the Director will use to 
                        evaluate applicants for waivers from program 
                        requirements.
                  ``(B) Specific requirement.--The criteria for 
                awarding grants under paragraph (1)(A) shall include 
                the extent to which the grant would enhance the daily 
                operations of the applicant and the impact of such a 
                grant on the protection of lives and property.
          ``(15) Peer review.--The Director, after consultation with 
        national fire service organizations, shall appoint fire service 
        personnel to conduct peer review of applications received under 
        paragraph (5). In making grants under this section, the 
        Director shall consider the results of such peer review 
        evaluations.
          ``(16) Applicability of federal advisory committee act.--The 
        Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply 
        to activities under paragraphs (13) and (15).
          ``(17) Accounting determination.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, rule, regulation, or guidance, for purposes 
        of receiving assistance under this section, equipment costs 
        shall include all costs attributable to any design, purchase of 
        components, assembly, manufacture, and transportation of 
        equipment not otherwise commercially available.
  ``(b) Audits.--A recipient of a grant under this section shall be 
subject to audits to ensure that the grant proceeds are expended for 
the intended purposes and that the grant recipient complies with the 
requirements of paragraphs (6) and (7) of subsection (a) unless the 
Director has granted a waiver under subsection (a)(8).
  ``(c) Fire Safety Research Centers.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Director may make a grant under 
        subsection (a)(4)(A)(iii) to an institution of higher 
        education, a national fire service organization, or a national 
        fire safety organization to establish and operate a fire safety 
        research center.
          ``(2) Objectives.--A grant received under this subsection 
        shall be used by such an institution or organization to advance 
        significantly the Nation's ability to reduce the number of 
        fire-related deaths and injuries among firefighters and the 
        general public through research, development, and technology 
        transfer activities.
          ``(3) Limitation.--The Director may establish no more than 3 
        fire safety research centers. An institution of higher 
        education, a national fire service organization, or a national 
        fire safety organization may not directly receive a grant under 
        this section for a fiscal year for more than 1 fire safety 
        research center.
          ``(4) Application.--In order to be eligible to receive a fire 
        safety research center grant, an institution of higher 
        education, a national fire service organization, or a national 
        fire safety organization shall submit to the Director an 
        application that is in such form and contains such information 
        and assurances as the Director may require.
          ``(5) General selection criteria.--The Director shall select 
        each recipient of a grant under this subsection through a 
        competitive process on the basis of the following:
                  ``(A) The demonstrated research and extension 
                resources available to the recipient to carry out the 
                research, development, and technology transfer 
                activities.
                  ``(B) The capability of the recipient to provide 
                leadership in making national contributions to fire 
                safety.
                  ``(C) The recipient's ability to disseminate the 
                results of fire safety research.
                  ``(D) The strategic plan the recipient proposes to 
                carry out under the grant.
          ``(6) Consideration.--The Director shall give special 
        consideration under paragraph (5) to an applicant for a grant 
        that consists of a partnership between a national fire service 
        organization or a national fire safety organization and at 
        least 1 of the following:
                  ``(A) An institution of higher education.
                  ``(B) A minority-serving institution (defined as an 
                eligible institution under section 371(a) of the Higher 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067q(a))).
          ``(7) Research needs.--Within 90 days after the date of 
        enactment of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009, the 
        Director shall convene a workshop of the fire safety research 
        community, fire service organizations, and other appropriate 
        stakeholders to identify and prioritize fire safety research 
        needs. The results of the workshop shall be made public, and 
        the Director shall consider such results in making awards under 
        this section.
  ``(d) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions apply:
          ``(1) Career fire department.--The term `career fire 
        department' means a firefighting department that has an all 
        professional force of firefighting personnel.
          ``(2) Combination fire department.--The term `combination 
        fire department' means a firefighting department that has a 
        combined force of professional and volunteer firefighting 
        personnel.
          ``(3) Director.--The term `Director' means the Director, 
        acting through the Administrator.
          ``(4) Firefighting personnel.--The term `firefighting 
        personnel' means individuals, including volunteers, who are 
        firefighters, officers of fire departments, or emergency 
        medical service personnel of fire departments.
          ``(5) Institution of higher education.--The term `institution 
        of higher education' has the meaning given such term in section 
        101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).
          ``(6) Volunteer, non-fire service ems and rescue 
        organization.--The term `volunteer, non-fire service EMS and 
        rescue organization' means a public or private nonprofit 
        emergency medical services organization that--
                  ``(A) is not affiliated with a hospital;
                  ``(B) does not serve a geographic area in which the 
                Director finds that emergency medical services are 
                adequately provided by a fire department; and
                  ``(C) is staffed primarily by volunteers.
          ``(7) Volunteer fire department.--The term `volunteer fire 
        department' means a firefighting department that has an all 
        volunteer force of firefighting personnel.
  ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          ``(1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
        for the purposes of this section $1,000,000,000 for each of the 
        fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
          ``(2) Administrative expenses.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Of the funds appropriated pursuant 
                to paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Director may 
                use not more than 3 percent of the funds to cover 
                salaries and expenses and other administrative costs 
                incurred by the Director to make grants and provide 
                assistance under this section.
                  ``(B) Formula.--The Director shall subtract the 
                amount to be used for subparagraph (A) from the amount 
                appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) before making 
                any allocations or apportioning any funds under 
                subsections (a) or (c).''.
  (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
          (1) from fiscal years 2003 through 2008--
                  (A) the funding appropriated for activities under 
                section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control 
                Act of 1974 declined by approximately 30 percent; and
                  (B) the number of fire departments receiving awards 
                declined by nearly 40 percent, while the number of 
                applicants increased, resulting in a reduction in 
                applicant success rates from over 43 percent to just 25 
                percent;
          (2) the House-passed conference report for the Department of 
        Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010 appropriates $390 
        million for activities under such section 33, a decrease of 
        over 30 percent below that provided in fiscal year 2009;
          (3) declining funding reduces the Director's ability to 
        successfully carry out the primary purpose of such section, 
        which is to protect the health and safety of the public and 
        firefighting personnel throughout the Nation against fire and 
        fire-related hazards; and
          (4) halting and reversing the decline in appropriations to 
        ensure a high level of funding for the activities under such 
        section 33 should be a top priority.

SEC. 3. EXPANSION OF PRE-SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, FIRE GRANT PROGRAM 
                    REAUTHORIZATION.

  Section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 
U.S.C. 2229a) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 34. EXPANSION OF PRE-SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, FIRE GRANT PROGRAM.

  ``(a) Expanded Authority To Make Grants.--
          ``(1) Hiring grants.--
                  ``(A) In general.--The Director shall make grants 
                directly to career, volunteer, and combination fire 
                departments, in consultation with the chief executive 
                of the State in which the applicant is located, for the 
                purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to 
                help communities meet industry minimum standards and 
                attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection 
                from fire and fire-related hazards and to fulfill 
                traditional missions of fire departments that antedate 
                the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
                  ``(B) Requirements.--
                          ``(i) Duration and use.--Grants made under 
                        this paragraph shall be for 3 years and shall 
                        be used for programs to hire new, additional 
                        firefighters.
                          ``(ii) Retention.--Grant recipients are 
                        required to commit to retaining for at least 
                        the entire 3 years of the grant period those 
                        firefighters hired under this paragraph.
                          ``(iii) Maximum.--The portion of the cost of 
                        hiring firefighters provided by a grant under 
                        this paragraph may not exceed 80 percent of 
                        such cost for each fiscal year.
                  ``(C) Preference.--In awarding grants under this 
                subsection, the Director may give preferential 
                consideration to applications that involve a non-
                Federal contribution exceeding the minimums under 
                subparagraph (B)(iii).
                  ``(D) Technical assistance.--The Director may provide 
                technical assistance to States, units of local 
                government, Indian tribal governments, and other public 
                entities in furtherance of the purposes of this 
                section.
                  ``(E) Volunteer activities allowed.--Notwithstanding 
                any other provision of law, any firefighter hired with 
                funds provided under this subsection shall not be 
                discriminated against for, or be prohibited from, 
                engaging in volunteer activities in another 
                jurisdiction during off-duty hours.
                  ``(F) Competitive basis.--The Director shall award 
                all grants under this section on a competitive basis 
                through a neutral peer review process.
                  ``(G) Set aside.--
                          ``(i) In general.--At the beginning of the 
                        fiscal year, the Director shall set aside 10 
                        percent of the funds made available for 
                        carrying out this paragraph for departments 
                        with majority volunteer or all volunteer 
                        personnel.
                          ``(ii) Transfer.--After awards have been 
                        made, if less than 10 percent of the funds made 
                        available for carrying out this paragraph are 
                        not awarded to departments with majority 
                        volunteer or all volunteer personnel, the 
                        Director shall transfer from funds made 
                        available for carrying out this paragraph to 
                        funds made available for carrying out paragraph 
                        (2) an amount equal to the difference between 
                        the amount that is provided to such fire 
                        departments and 10 percent.
          ``(2) Recruitment and retention grants.--
                  ``(A) In general.--In addition to any amounts 
                transferred under paragraph (1)(G)(ii), the Director 
                shall direct at least 10 percent of the total amount of 
                funds made available under this section annually to a 
                competitive grant program for the recruitment and 
                retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved 
                with or trained in the operations of firefighting and 
                emergency response.
                  ``(B) Eligibility.--Eligible entities shall include 
                volunteer or combination fire departments and 
                organizations on a local, statewide, or national basis 
                that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters.
  ``(b) Applications.--
          ``(1) In general.--No grant may be made under this section 
        unless an application has been submitted to, and approved by, 
        the Director.
          ``(2) Contents.--An application for a grant under this 
        section shall be submitted in such form and contain such 
        information and assurances as the Director may prescribe.
          ``(3) Requirements.--At a minimum, each application for a 
        grant under this section shall--
                  ``(A) explain the applicant's inability to address 
                the need without Federal assistance;
                  ``(B) in the case of a grant under subsection (a)(1), 
                explain how the applicant plans to meet the 
                requirements of subparagraphs (B)(ii) and (E) of such 
                subsection;
                  ``(C) specify long-term plans for retaining 
                firefighters following the conclusion of Federal 
                support provided under this section; and
                  ``(D) provide assurances that the applicant will, to 
                the extent practicable, seek, recruit, and hire members 
                of racial and ethnic minority groups and women in order 
                to increase their ranks within firefighting.
  ``(c) Limitation on Use of Funds.--
          ``(1) Supplement, not supplant.--Funds made available under 
        this section to fire departments for salaries and benefits to 
        hire new, additional firefighters shall not be used to supplant 
        State or local funds, or, in the case of Indian tribal 
        governments, funds supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 
        but shall be used to increase the amount of funds that would, 
        in the absence of Federal funds received under this section, be 
        made available from State or local sources, or in the case of 
        Indian tribal governments, from funds supplied by the Bureau of 
        Indian Affairs.
          ``(2) Replacement funding prohibited.--No grant shall be 
        awarded pursuant to this section to a municipality or other 
        recipient whose annual budget at the time of the application 
        for fire-related programs and emergency response has been 
        reduced below 80 percent of the average funding level in the 3 
        years prior to the date of application.
          ``(3) Indian cost-share.--Funds appropriated by the Congress 
        for the activities of any agency of an Indian tribal government 
        or the Bureau of Indian Affairs performing firefighting 
        functions on any Indian lands may be used to provide the non-
        Federal share of the cost of programs or projects funded under 
        this section.
  ``(d) Waiver.--In exceptional circumstances, the Director may waive 
the requirements of subsections (a)(1)(B)(ii), (a)(1)(B)(iii), (c)(1), 
and (c)(2) if the Director determines that the jurisdiction is facing 
demonstrated economic hardship in accordance with section 33(a)(8).
  ``(e) Performance Evaluation.--The Director may require a grant 
recipient to submit any information the Director considers reasonably 
necessary to evaluate the program.
  ``(f) Sunset; Reports.--
          ``(1) Sunset.--The authority under this section to make 
        grants shall lapse at the end of the 10-year period that begins 
        on the date of enactment of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act 
        of 2009.
          ``(2) Report.--Not later than 6 years after such date of 
        enactment, the Director shall submit to Congress a report 
        concerning the experience with, and effectiveness of, such 
        grants in meeting the objectives of this section. The report 
        may include any recommendations the Director may have for 
        amendments to this section and related provisions of law.
  ``(g) Revocation or Suspension of Funding.--If the Director 
determines that a grant recipient under this section is not in 
substantial compliance with the terms and requirements of an approved 
grant application submitted under this section, the Director may revoke 
or suspend funding of that grant, in whole or in part.
  ``(h) Access to Documents.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Director shall have access for the 
        purpose of audit and examination to any pertinent books, 
        documents, papers, or records of a grant recipient under this 
        section and to the pertinent books, documents, papers, or 
        records of State and local governments, persons, businesses, 
        and other entities that are involved in programs, projects, or 
        activities for which assistance is provided under this section.
          ``(2) Application.--Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to 
        audits and examinations conducted by the Comptroller General of 
        the United States or by an authorized representative of the 
        Comptroller General.
  ``(i) Definitions.--In this section, the term--
          ``(1) `Director' means the Director, acting through the 
        Administrator;
          ``(2) `firefighter' has the meaning given the term `employee 
        in fire protection activities' under section 3(y) of the Fair 
        Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203(y)); and
          ``(3) `Indian tribe' means a tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or 
        other organized group or community of Indians, including an 
        Alaska Native village (as defined in or established under the 
        Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), 
        that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
        services provided by the United States to Indians because of 
        their status as Indians.
  ``(j) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated for the purposes of carrying out this section 
$1,194,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.''.

SEC. 4. STUDY AND REPORT.

  (a) Study and Report on Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.--
          (1) Study.--The Administrator of the United States Fire 
        Administration, in conjunction with the National Fire 
        Protection Association, shall conduct a study to--
                  (A) define the current roles and activities 
                associated with the fire services on a national, State, 
                regional, and local level;
                  (B) identify the equipment, staffing, and training 
                required to fulfill the roles and activities defined 
                under subparagraph (A);
                  (C) conduct an assessment to identify gaps between 
                what fire departments currently possess and what they 
                require to meet the equipment, staffing, and training 
                needs identified under subparagraph (B) on a national 
                and State-by-State basis; and
                  (D) measure the impact of the grant program under 
                section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control 
                Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229) in--
                          (i) meeting the needs of the fire services 
                        identified in the report submitted to Congress 
                        under section 3603(a) of the Ronald W. Reagan 
                        National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
                        Year 2005; and
                          (ii) filling the gaps identified under 
                        subparagraph (C).
          (2) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the 
        Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
        Senate and the Committee on Science and Technology of the House 
        of Representatives a report on the findings of the study 
        described in paragraph (1).
  (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Administrator of the United States Fire 
Administration a total of $300,000 for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to 
carry out subsection (a).

                        II. Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 3791, the Fire Grants Reauthorization 
Act of 2009, is to reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters 
Grant (AFG) Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and 
Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program.

              III. Background and Need for the Legislation


                ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS GRANT PROGRAM

    Since the AFG program began in FY2001, over $4.8 billion in 
Federal funding has been competitively awarded to local fire 
departments to purchase firefighting and emergency response 
training and equipment. In FY2008, the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) received over 20,000 applications from 
fire departments for AFG funds, requesting over $3 billion. The 
program was created to assist local fire departments in meeting 
the challenge of expanding emergency response capabilities. 
Many local fire departments do not have adequate training and 
equipment. For instance, the National Fire Protection 
Association estimates that 65 percent of fire departments in 
the U.S. do not have enough portable radios to equip all 
firefighters on shift, and that 36 percent of fire departments 
involved in emergency medical response do not have enough 
adequately trained personnel to perform those duties\1\. The 
support for training, equipment, and apparatus provided by the 
AFG Program is especially needed to protect public safety as 
municipalities face severe budget constraints.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\The National Fire Protection Association, Four Years Later: A 
Second Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service, October 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

           STAFFING FOR ADEQUATE FIRE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE

    Over the past five fiscal years, the Staffing for Adequate 
Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program has competitively 
awarded nearly $700 million to local fire departments for the 
hiring, recruitment, and retention of firefighters. In FY2008, 
FEMA received over one thousand SAFER applications, with 
requests totaling over $500 million. This funding has helped 
fire departments hire firefighters to bring their organizations 
in line with national voluntary consensus standards for safe 
staffing levels. This support is particularly crucial, as a 
tough economy is forcing many localities to lay off personnel.

                        IV. Summary of Hearings

    The Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, Committee on 
Science and Technology held a hearing on the FIRE Grant 
programs during the 111th Congress on Wednesday, July 8, 2009. 
The hearing, entitled Reauthorization of the FIRE Grants 
Programs, discussed the priorities for AFG and SAFER in 
preparation for their reauthorization. The following witnesses 
provided testimony:
           The Honorable Bill Pascrell, Jr., Member, 
        U.S. House of Representatives;
           The Honorable Timothy Manning, Deputy 
        Administrator, National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA, 
        Department of Homeland Security (DHS);
           Chief Jeffrey Johnson, First Vice President, 
        International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and 
        Chief, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue in Aloha, 
        Oregon;
           Chief Jack Carriger, Stayton, Oregon Fire 
        District Fire Vice Chairman, National Volunteer Fire 
        Council (NVFC);
           Mr. Kevin O'Connor, Assistant to the General 
        President, International Association of Fire Fighters 
        (IAFF);
           Chief Curt Varone, Division Manager, Public 
        Fire Protection Division, National Fire Protection 
        Association (NFPA); and
           Mr. Ed Carlin, Training Officer, Spalding 
        Rural Volunteer Fire Department, Spalding, Nebraska.
    Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Vice-Chairman Lujan 
opened the hearing by discussing the importance of the AFG and 
SAFER programs in helping communities staff and equip their 
fire departments, particularly as the emergency response 
mission of fire departments grows. He noted that the grants 
were essential as many communities faced the problem of 
providing services with shrinking budgets. Vice-Chairman Lujan 
also stated that he hoped the hearing would provide insights on 
reducing the Nation's losses from fire and on changes to AFG 
and SAFER to enable the programs to benefit all fire 
departments.
    The witnesses testified to the importance of Fire Grants in 
helping fire departments develop and maintain their response 
capabilities. They also expressed their concerns that current 
economic conditions made it difficult for local fire 
departments to safely and effectively carry out their missions. 
The priorities the witnesses gave for AFG and SAFER reflected 
the current economic concerns, and broader concerns on enabling 
more departments to take advantage of the funds. The priorities 
included: raising the maximum allowable amount for both AFG and 
SAFER awards; lowering the matching requirements; balancing the 
apportionment of AFG funding between all-career fire 
departments, all-volunteer, and combination career-volunteer; 
and creating authority for waivers for communities facing 
economic hardship.

                          V. Committee Actions

    In the 111th Congress, the House Committee on Science and 
Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, held a 
hearing on July 8, 2009 concerning the AFG and SAFER programs.
    On October 13, 2009, Representative Harry Mitchell, for 
himself and Representatives Pascrell, Hoyer, Gordon, Wu, 
Andrews, Grayson, Tonko, Rothman, C. Wilson, Lipinski, 
Carnahan, Costello, Peters, Holden, Shea-Porter, Hirono, 
Hinchey, Michaud, Higgins, Halvorson, Ross, Foster, Langevin, 
McIntyre, Delahunt, Lowey, Kagen, B. Thompson, Richardson, 
Sutton, Cuellar, Kirkpatrick, Clarke, Loretta Sanchez, Lujan, 
T. Ryan, Blackburn, Cleaver, Jackson-Lee, and Doyle, introduced 
H.R. 3791, the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009. The 
bill was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology, 
which referred the bill to the Subcommittee on Technology and 
Innovation.
    The Subcommittee met to consider H.R. 3791 on October 14, 
2009. The Subcommittee considered the following amendments:
    1. Mr. Wu offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute. The amendment changed the style of the bill from a 
``cut and bite'' series of amendments to a restatement of 
sections 33 and 34 of the Fire Prevention and Control Act of 
1974. The amendment also added a provision authorizing the 
Administrator to establish up to 3 University Fire Safety 
Research Centers from the 10 percent set-aside of funding for 
the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants. The purpose of the 
Centers is to perform research, development, and technology 
transfer activities to significantly reduce fire-related deaths 
and injuries among firefighters and the general public. 
Finally, the amendment added a requirement that the U.S. Fire 
Administration to work with the National Fire Protection 
Association on a needs assessment for the fire service and 
report back to Congress on the results of that needs 
assessment. The amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    2. Mr. Smith (NE) offered an amendment to amend section 2 
of the amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Wu. The amendment modified the eligibility requirement for the 
Fire Prevention and Safety Grants, authorized under the amended 
paragraph (4) of section 33, requiring that entities that are 
not fire departments, or organizations whose primary purpose is 
fire safety related activities, or organizations recognized for 
their firefighter health and safety research, to partner with a 
fire department. The amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    3. Mr. Smith (NE) offered an amendment to amend section 2 
of the amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Wu. The amendment expanded the evaluation criteria in the 
amended subparagraph (9)(B) of section 33 to require the 
Director to consider a number of factors, such as population 
served, geographic response area, and financial situation, in 
developing the grant award criteria. The amendment further 
clarified that among the factors considered by the Director, 
applicants serving areas with high populations and a high 
number of incidents shall receive a higher level of 
consideration. The amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    H.R. 3791, as amended, was agreed to by voice vote.
    Mr. Wu moved that the Subcommittee favorably report H.R. 
3791, as amended, to the Full Committee with the recommendation 
that the bill pass. The motion was agreed to by voice vote.
    The Full Science and Technology Committee met to consider 
H.R. 3791 on October 21, 2009. The Full Committee considered 
the following amendments:
    1. Mr. Mitchell offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute that made several modifications to the bill that was 
reported out of the Subcommittee. The amendment: modified the 
language in subsection (c) of section 33, on the University 
Fire Safety Research Centers, to include national fire service 
and fire safety organizations as eligible applicants for center 
funding; added a provision giving special consideration for 
this funding to partnerships between universities and national 
fire service or fire safety organizations; clarified that only 
one fire training academy per state will be able to receive 
funding under the amended section 33 set-aside for fire service 
training academies each fiscal year; added authority to waive 
the requirement that any training purchased with Fire Grant 
funding meet or exceed national voluntary consensus standards 
for such training; added a definition of ``volunteer non-fire 
EMS''; and made other technical and conforming changes. The 
amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    2. Ms. Johnson (TX) offered an amendment to Mr. Mitchell's 
amendment in the nature of a substitute to include programs for 
raising awareness of preventing job-related mental-health 
issues in the existing provision authorizing section 33 funds 
to be used for firefighter wellness and fitness programs. The 
amendment added minority serving institutions to the special 
consideration language in Mr. Mitchell's amendment in the 
nature of a substitute under the fire safety research centers. 
The amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    3. Mr. Broun offered an amendment to Mr. Mitchell's 
amendment in the nature of a substitute prohibiting the 
Director from awarding any Fire Prevention and Safety grants to 
the Association of Community Organizations for Reform now 
(ACORN) or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied 
organizations. The amendment was agreed to by roll call vote 
(Y:33, N:5, Present:1).
    4. Mr. Smith (NE) offered an amendment to Mr. Mitchell's 
amendment in the nature of a substitute to express the sense of 
Congress that funding for Assistance to Firefighter Grants 
program has declined over the past five years and that funding 
the program at a high level should be a high priority. The 
amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    Mr. Tonko (NY) moved that the Committee favorably report 
H.R. 3791, as amended, to the House with the recommendation 
that the bill pass. The motion was agreed to by voice vote.

              VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

    H.R. 3791 reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
(AFG) Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency 
Response (SAFER) program.
    For the AFG Program, H.R. 3791:
           Provides an authorization of $1 billion per 
        fiscal year from FY2010 to FY2014;
           Requires the Director to apportion the total 
        appropriation for AFG, minus 3 percent for 
        administrative costs, in the following manner: 25 
        percent for career fire departments; 25 percent for 
        combination departments; 25 percent for volunteer fire 
        departments; 10 percent for Fire Prevention and Safety 
        Grants; 2 percent for volunteer, non-fire service EMS 
        and rescue organizations; 3 percent ceiling for state 
        fire training academies; and 10 percent remaining open 
        for competition among all types of fire departments;
           Sets the matching requirements for 
        applicants from jurisdictions of a population of 20,000 
        or more at 10 percent, and at 5 percent for 
        jurisdictions with populations of less than 20,000;
           Sets the maximum allowable size for AFG 
        grants depending on the population of the area served 
        by the applicants;
           Sets the maintenance of budget requirement 
        at 80 percent or above the applicant's previous two 
        fiscal year budgets;
           Establishes up to three University Fire 
        Safety Research Centers to fund research and 
        development to reduce fire related deaths and injuries 
        among firefighters and the general public; and
           Gives the Director authority to, in 
        exceptional circumstances, issue waivers to departments 
        that are unable to meet the matching requirement or the 
        maintenance of budget requirement.
    For the SAFER Program, H.R. 3791 has the following 
provisions:
           Provides an authorization of $1.194 billion 
        per fiscal year from FY2010 to FY2014;
           Sets the grant period at three years (with 
        the requirement that the department retain the hire for 
        the entire three-year grant period);
           Sets the local matching requirement at 20 
        percent per year of the grant;
           Eliminates an artificial cap on the maximum 
        allowable grant size per firefighter;
           Includes an economic hardship waiver for 
        departments that are unable to meet the matching 
        requirements or maintenance of budget requirements. It 
        also provides waivers for requirements that departments 
        use the fund to supplement, rather than supplant, local 
        funds, as well as the requirement that the funds be 
        used to hire additional firefighters rather than retain 
        existing personnel.

                    VII. Section-by-Section Analysis


   SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE FIRE GRANTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

Sec. 2

    Amendment to Sec. 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974
            Assistance Program
    (a) AUTHORITY: Allows the Director to make grants on a 
competitive basis to local fire departments and state fire 
training academies to protect against fire and fire-related 
hazards; to provide assistance for fire and fire prevention 
programs; and to provide assistance to volunteer non-fire 
service EMS and rescue organizations.
     USES: Allows the Director to make grants available 
for a variety of purposes related to fire fighting and fire 
safety, including equipment and training.
     FIRE PREVENTION AND SAFETY: Sets aside 10 percent 
of the appropriated funds for fire prevention and safety 
grants. Such grants may go to local fire departments, or other 
organizations, for fire prevention programs, as well as 
research on fire safety and firefighter health and safety. For 
the purposes of carrying out a grant, organizations that are 
not fire departments must be recognized for their expertise in 
fire prevention and safety programs and partner with a fire 
department. Or, they must engage in fire-related activities as 
a primary function or be recognized for their expertise in 
firefighter-related research. Such grants may not be above 
$1,500,000.
     APPLICATION: Fire departments or other 
organizations seeking grants must submit applications that 
contain information on the financial need of the applicant, the 
cost-to-benefit ratio of the intended purchase, an agreement to 
participate in the national fire data collection system, and a 
list of other sources of Federal funding received by the 
applicant.
     MATCHING REQUIREMENT: Fire departments must match 
any Federal funds received by 10 percent. Fire departments 
serving jurisdictions with fewer than 20,000 people, the 
matching requirement is 5 percent. There is no matching 
requirement for the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants.
     MAINTAINANCE OF EXPENDITURES: Grants may be 
awarded only if the applicant agrees to maintain its budget for 
the uses for which they are applying for the grant at, or 
above, 80 percent of its average for the previous two fiscal 
years.
     ECONOMIC HARDSHIP WAIVER: The Director may waive 
the matching requirement and the maintenance of expenditure 
requirement in cases of exceptional economic hardship. The 
Director shall develop the criteria for the waivers in 
consultation with fire service organizations and organizations 
representing State and local governments. The criteria for the 
waivers will be made publicly available.
     VARIETY OF FIRE DEPARTMENT GRANT RECIPIENTS: The 
grants shall be made to fire departments as follows (if enough 
qualified applicants apply in each category):
           25 percent to career fire departments;
           25 percent to combination fire 
        departments;
           25 percent to volunteer fire 
        departments; and
           Any remainder not otherwise designated 
        under this bill shall be open for competition among all 
        fire types of departments.
    The Director shall consider a broad range of factors in 
awarding the grants, but those applicants serving areas with 
high population and with a high number of incidents will 
receive a higher level of consideration.
     REPORT TO THE DIRECTOR: Applicants must report to 
the Director how the assistance was used.
     GRANT LIMITATIONS: The maximum allowable grant 
size a fire department is eligible for will depend on the size 
of the population that department serves, as follows:
           A population of 100,000 or less may receive 
        up to $1,000,000
           A population of 100,000 to 500,000 may 
        receive up to $2,000,000
           A population of 500,000 to 1,000,000 may 
        receive up to $3,000,000
           A population of 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 may 
        receive up to $6,000,000
           A population of 2,500,000 or more may 
        receive up to $9,000,000.
    Not more than 25 percent of the total appropriation may be 
used to purchase firefighting vehicles.
    State fire training academies are eligible for no more than 
3 percent of the total appropriation. Grants to State fire 
training academies shall be no more than $1,000,000.
    Not less than 2 percent of the funds appropriated shall go 
to volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations.
     ALASKA NATIVE VILLAGES: Allows Alaska Native 
Villages to be eligible for grants made under this Act.
     ANNUAL MEETING: Requires the Director to convene 
an annual meeting of fire service organizations to recommend 
criteria for awarding grants the following fiscal year.
     GUIDELINES: Requires the Director to make the 
grant criteria publicly available.
     PEER-REIVEW: Requires that the grants be subjected 
to a peer-review process.
     APPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT: 
Exempts the annual meeting and the peer-review process from the 
requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
     ACCOUNTING DETERMINIATION: Requires that, for the 
purposes of receiving assistance under this Act, equipment 
costs encompass all components of the cost, including design 
and assembly (if not commercially available).
    (b) AUDITS: Requires that grant recipients under the Act 
submit to audits.
    (c) UNIVERSITY FIRE SAFETY RESEARCH CENTERS: Authorizes the 
Director to make grants to no institutions of higher education 
to establish and operate no more than three university fire 
safety research centers. The grants are to be used for R&D; to 
reduce fire-related death and injuries among the general public 
and firefighters. The Director must also convene a workshop of 
fire safety experts to discuss research needs. The grant awards 
for fire safety research centers shall be made from the 10 
percent allocated to the Fire Safety and Prevention program.
    (d) DEFINITIONS: Definitions provided for Career Fire 
Department; Combination Fire Departments; Director; 
Firefighting Personnel; Institution of Higher Education; 
Volunteer, Non-fire Service EMS and Rescue Organization; and 
Volunteer Fire Department.
    (e) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS: Authorizes 
appropriations of $1,000,000 from 2010 to 2014, of which not 
more than 3 percent may be used for program administration 
purposes by the Director.

Sec. 3.

    Amendments to Section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974.
     EXPANDED AUTHORITY TO MAKE HIRING GRANTS: Directs 
the Director to make competitive grants to career, volunteer, 
and combination fire departments to increase the number of 
firefighters to a level that enables 24-hour staffing of fire 
departments. The grants will be used to hire new, additional 
firefighters and will run for 3 years. The use of grant funds 
to hire firefighters in any jurisdiction may not exceed 80% of 
the total costs of hiring firefighters.
     RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION: Requires that at least 
10% of the total appropriations must be used to recruit and 
retain volunteer firefighters at volunteer or combination fire 
departments and organizations that represent the interests of 
volunteer firefighters.
     APPLICATIONS: Requires that, at a minimum, 
applications must detail why the fire department needs federal 
assistance, how it plans to meet the three year retention 
requirement, and how it will allow the firefighters to 
volunteer in their off-time. The applications must also explain 
how the fire department will work to recruit and hire more 
minority groups and women, as well as how it will retain newly 
hired firefighters past the conclusion of the 3-year grant.
     LIMITATIONS ON USE OF FUNDS: Requires that the 
grant funds should represent an increase of, and not supplant, 
funds provided by state and local governments, or the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs. Also requires that municipalities and other 
recipients maintain their budgets for fire-related and 
emergency response programs at or above 80 percent of their 
previous 3-year average.
     WAIVER: Allows the Director to waive the following 
requirements for recipients facing exceptional economic 
hardship: the 3-year retention requirement of new firefighters 
hired with grant funds; the maintenance of expenditure 
requirement; and the ``supplement versus supplant'' 
requirement.
     PERFORMANCE EVALUATION: Allows the Director to 
request any information considered necessary from grant 
recipients.
     SUNSET; REPORTS: The Director's authority to make 
grants ends 10 years after the date of enactment; and, not 
later than 6 years after the date of enactment, the Director 
shall submit a report on the effectiveness of the grants and 
any recommendations for future provisions.
     REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF FUNDING: Allows the 
Director to revoke or suspend any portion of a grant if a 
recipient does not comply with all of the requirements at any 
time.
     ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Allows the Director to audit 
any grant recipient and provides access to any needed documents 
in carrying out the audit.
     DEFINITIONS: Defines: Director; firefighter; and 
Indian tribe.
     AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS: Authorizes 
$1,194,000,000 per year for FY2010 through FY2014 for Section 
3.

Sec. 4. Study & Report

     STUDY AND REPORT IN ASSSTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS 
GRANT PROGRAM: Directs the United States Fire Administration 
and the National Fire Protection Association to conduct a study 
defining the roles and activities of fire services; the 
equipment, staffing, and training needed to carry out these 
roles and activities; the gaps in existing resources required 
to meet these roles; and the impact of grants. Authorizes 
$300,000 per year for FY2010 and FY2011 to conduct the study.

                         VIII. Committee Views

    The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and the 
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) 
Program are important sources of funding for fire departments, 
helping them to prepare and equip for fighting fires and 
responding to other emergencies. In many communities, this 
support has been instrumental in increasing the safety of 
firefighters and the public. AFG and SAFER are even more 
essential in this difficult economy as local officials across 
the country face providing services with smaller budgets. H.R. 
3791 makes important changes to AFG and SAFER that will ensure 
fire departments can continue to take advantage of this funding 
and meet the demands of protecting public safety.

                           AFG APPORTIONMENT

    H.R. 3791 requires, to the extent that qualified applicants 
apply, that each category of fire department--career, 
volunteer, and combination--will receive at least 25 percent of 
the total funding available for the AFG program each fiscal 
year. This reflects a desire by key stakeholders to increase 
the proportion of AFG funding awarded to larger departments 
that tend to protect higher populations of citizens. For the 
purpose of grouping applicants with a particular fire 
department category, fire departments whose personnel are paid-
on-call or receive a stipend should be considered as 
combination departments. The total available funding is the 
amount remaining each fiscal year after the Administrator has 
set-aside up to 3 percent of the AFG appropriation for program 
administration. The remaining amount of the total available AFG 
funding that is not designated for use under paragraph (4), 
subparagraph (10)(C), and subparagraph (10)(D) of the amended 
Section 33, will be available for competition by any type of 
fire department.

                       AFG AND SAFER REQUIREMENTS

    The modifications to AFG and SAFER requirements in H.R. 
3791 will help ensure that those departments with greatest need 
can apply for Federal funding. The bill lowers the AFG matching 
requirement to 10 percent for departments serving communities 
of 20,000 people or more. Those fire departments serving 
communities of fewer than 20,000 will continue to pay a 5 
percent match. Reducing the matching requirement opens the 
program to departments previously unable to afford the match 
and helps ensure that communities hit by the economic downturn 
will be able to compete for AFG funding. H.R. 3791 also 
modifies the budget maintenance requirement for AFG. The bill 
requires fire departments to maintain their budgets for the 
activities described under paragraphs (3) and (4) at or above 
80 percent of the two previous fiscal years in order to be 
eligible for an AFG award. Modifying the budget maintenance 
requirement allows flexibility to departments affected by the 
economic downturn and to those attempting to make multiple 
large purchases. However, it still ensures a strong local 
commitment to providing fire protection.
    H.R. 3791 also modifies the matching requirement for SAFER 
to enable more departments to apply. Particularly in a tough 
economy, some communities are dissuaded from applying for SAFER 
funds due to the difficulty in planning for a 5-year commitment 
with an increasing local match. The change to a consistent 20 
percent match over a 3-year period makes this planning easier 
for local officials and encourages fire departments to apply 
for the grants they need.
    The waiver authority provision in H.R. 3791 also provides 
an important tool to increase the availability of these grants. 
The waiver may be used by the Administrator in exceptional 
circumstances to ensure that those communities with the 
greatest need can receive SAFER and AFG awards.

                              AWARD SIZES

    The increases made in H.R. 3791 to the maximum size of the 
AFG awards will allow fire departments that serve large 
populations to apply for the amount of funding that will best 
meet their needs. In addition to helping America's metropolitan 
areas, this provision also helps areas that have consolidated 
multiple fire departments into a unified fire service to serve 
multiple towns, counties, or other jurisdictional divisions. In 
addition, the elimination of the $100,000-per-firefighter cap 
for SAFER grants reflects the differences in hiring costs for 
fire departments in different parts of the country.

                   FIRE PREVENTION AND SAFETY GRANTS

    The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S;) grants are an 
important component of AFG. Each year, approximately 3,000 
people die in fires and at least 16,000 are injured. Statistics 
show that fire deaths and injuries more frequently affect 
minority populations, and those living in poverty. In addition, 
over 100 firefighters die each year in the line of duty. FP&S; 
grants should work to reduce these deaths and injuries. The 
Fire Safety Research Centers included in H.R. 3791 could 
provide important research and technology transfer capabilities 
to increase the safety of firefighters and protect the public 
from fires.
    It is the Committee's intention that, with respect to the 
requirement under this section that certain non-fire department 
entities partner with fire departments, the term ``partner'' 
may be passive, and carries no expectation of a commitment of 
people or resources on the part of the partnering fire 
department.

              ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTER GRANTS, GENERALLY

    H.R. 3791 also includes state fire training academies as 
eligible for up to 3 percent of total available AFG funding. 
This reflects the important function academies perform in 
training the fire service and will ensure greater access to 
firefighting equipment and apparatus. In addition, up to 2 
percent of the total available funding may go for volunteer, 
non-fire service affiliated EMS and rescue organizations. Such 
organizations provide vital assistance in areas not served by 
other EMS providers.
    Section 33 of the Firefighter Assistance (a)(1)(A) makes 
grants on a competitive basis directly to fire departments of a 
State. Fire departments of a State include fire departments 
operated and maintained by state agencies or departments. The 
Committee recognizes state run fire departments are vital to 
enhancing the mutual aid system throughout the nation and 
allows for a better coordinated approach to both natural and 
intentional disasters. The Committee expects State operated or 
maintained fire departments will coordinate with local agencies 
to build regional capabilities.
    Finally, new and innovative fire fighting and fire 
suppression technologies can be important tools to reduce 
safety risks to firefighters, reduce property damage, and 
lessen the environmental impact of fire suppression efforts. 
Therefore, applications to utilize these cutting edge 
technologies should be considered by the Administrator.

                           IX. Cost Estimate

    A cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been timely submitted to 
the Committee on Science and Technology prior to the filing of 
this report and is included in Section X of this report 
pursuant to House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    H.R. 3791 does not contain new budget authority, credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming 
that sums authorized under the bill are appropriated, H.R. 3791 
does authorize additional discretionary spending, as described 
in the Congressional Budget Office report on the bill, which is 
contained in Section X of this report.

              X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                  November 2, 2009.
Hon. Bart Gordon,
Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3791, the Fire 
Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Daniel 
Hoople.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3791--Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009

    Summary: H.R. 3791 would authorize appropriations totalling 
$9.8 billion in addition to that already authorized under 
current law for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to aid in 
preventing and responding to fires and other related hazards. 
CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost 
about $6.0 billion over the 2010-2014 period and $3.8 million 
thereafter, assuming appropriation of the specified amounts. 
Enacting H.R. 3791 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    H.R. 3791 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated Cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 3791 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 450 
(community and regional development).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2010     2011     2012     2013     2014   2010-2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Assistance to Firefighters Grants
    Authorization Level.................................    1,000    1,000    1,000    1,000    1,000     5,000
    Estimated Outlays...................................       50      550      800      950      990     3,340
Fire Grants (SAFER)
    Authorization Level\1\..............................        0    1,194    1,194    1,194    1,194     4,776
    Estimated Outlays...................................        0       25      535      900    1,190     2,650
Studies and Reports
    Authorization Level.................................        *        *        0        0        0         1
    Estimated Outlays...................................        *        *        *        0        0         1
Total Changes
    Authorization Level.................................    1,000    2,194    2,194    2,194    2,194     9,777
    Estimated Outlays...................................       50      575    1,335    1,850    2,180    5,991
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: SAFER = Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response; * = less than $500,000.
\1\H.R. 3791 would authorize the appropriation of $1,194 million for fiscal year 2010 for the SAFER program,
  which is equal to the amount authorized under current law for that year (see Public Law 108-136).

    Basis of Estimate:
    Assistance to Firefighters Grants: H.R. 3791 would 
authorize the appropriation of $1 billion in each of fiscal 
years 2010 through 2014 for the USFA to award grants to fire 
departments, state fire training academies, and other 
organizations. In 2009, the Congress provided $565 million for 
this purpose (see Public Law 110-329).
    Established in 2000, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
(AFG) program provides funding to hire additional personnel, 
modify facilities, and obtain equipment, protective gear, 
emergency vehicles, training, and other resources to respond to 
fire and related hazards. H.R. 3791 would expand program 
eligibility to include state fire training academies and would 
increase minimum funding for fire prevention and safety 
programs from 5 percent to 10 percent. Additionally, the 
legislation would reduce the grantee matching requirement from 
20 percent to 10 percent.
    Based on historical spending patterns, CBO estimates that 
implementing the AFG program under the legislation would cost 
about $3.3 billion over the 2010-2014 period and about $1.7 
billion thereafter, assuming appropriation of the specified 
amounts.
    Fire Grants (SAFER): H.R. 3791 would authorize the 
appropriation of about $1.2 billion in each of fiscal years 
2010 through 2014 for the USFA to award grants to departments 
staffed with all career members, with all volunteer members, 
and those with both career and volunteer members. In 2009, the 
Congress provided $210 million for this purpose (see Public Law 
110-329). For 2010, the Congress has already authorized the 
appropriation of about $1.2 billion for the program (see Public 
Law 108-136).
    Established in 2003, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and 
Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program provides funding to 
hire additional firefighters and to recruit and retain 
volunteer firefighters. H.R. 3791 would reduce the term of a 
SAFER grant from four years to three years and would require 
grantees to commit to retaining an additional hire for at least 
three years. Under current law, grantees are required to retain 
any subsidized personnel for one year beyond the termination of 
funding for that position. Additionally, the legislation would 
limit grant funding to 80 percent of the cost of hiring a 
firefighter for the duration of the grant. Under current law, 
grants cover 90 percent of the cost of a new hire in the first 
year. This proportion gradually decreases to 30 percent in the 
fourth year.
    CBO estimates that implementing the SAFER program under the 
legislation would cost about $2.7 billion over the 2010-2014 
period and about $2.1 billion thereafter, assuming 
appropriation of the specified amounts.
    Studies and Reports; H.R. 3791 would authorize the 
appropriation of $300,000 for each of 2010 and 2011 for the 
USFA to conduct a study of the resources and needs of fire 
services at the national, regional, and local level, and the 
impact that grant programs have had on those areas. Based on 
the spending patterns of similar studies, and assuming the 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost $600,000 over the 2010-
2012 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 3791 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Those governments would benefit from the 
authorization of appropriations in this bill for grants and 
technical assistance. Any costs to those governments would be 
incurred voluntarily as conditions of federal assistance.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Daniel Hoople; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    H.R. 3791 contains no unfunded mandates.

         XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    The Committee on Science and Technology's oversight 
findings and recommendations are reflected in the body of this 
report.

      XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause (3)(c) of House rule XIII, the goal of 
H.R. 3791 is to improve the safety of firefighters and the 
public through a program of direct grant assistance to fire 
departments, and other organizations, to purchase equipment, 
vehicles, training, and engage in fire prevention and safety 
research and other activities, as well as to hire additional 
firefighters.

                XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 3791.

                XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 3791 does not establish nor authorize the 
establishment of an advisory committee, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
App.

                 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act

    The Committee finds that H.R. 3791 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104-1).

                      XVII. Earmark Identification

    H.R. 3791 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
House rule XXI, clause 9.

     XVIII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    The bill is not intended to preempt any state, local, or 
tribal law.

       XIX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, As Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

FEDERAL FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT OF 1974

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 33. FIREFIGHTER ASSISTANCE.

  [(a) Definition of Firefighting Personnel.--In this section, 
the term ``firefighting personnel'' means individuals, 
including volunteers, who are firefighters, officers of fire 
departments, or emergency medical service personnel of fire 
departments.
  [(b) Assistance Program.--
          [(1) Authority.--In accordance with this section, the 
        Director may--
                  [(A) make grants on a competitive basis 
                directly to fire departments of a State, in 
                consultation with the chief executive of the 
                State, for the purpose of protecting the health 
                and safety of the public and firefighting 
                personnel throughout the Nation against fire 
                and fire-related hazards;
                  [(B) provide assistance for fire prevention 
                and firefighter safety research and development 
                programs in accordance with paragraph (4); and
                  [(C) provide assistance for nonaffiliated EMS 
                organizations for the purpose of paragraph 
                (3)(F).
          [(2) Administrative assistance.--The Director shall 
        establish specific criteria for the selection of 
        recipients of assistance under this section and shall 
        provide grant-writing assistance to applicants.
          [(3) Use of fire department grant funds.--The 
        Director may make a grant under paragraph (1)(A) only 
        if the applicant for the grant agrees to use the grant 
        funds for one or more of the following purposes:
                  [(A) To hire additional firefighting 
                personnel.
                  [(B) To train firefighting personnel in 
                firefighting, emergency response (including 
                response to a terrorism incident or use of a 
                weapon of mass destruction), arson prevention 
                and detection, maritime firefighting, or the 
                handling of hazardous materials, or to train 
                firefighting personnel to provide any of the 
                training described in this subparagraph.
                  [(C) To fund the creation of rapid 
                intervention teams to protect firefighting 
                personnel at the scenes of fires and other 
                emergencies.
                  [(D) To certify fire inspectors.
                  [(E) To establish wellness and fitness 
                programs for firefighting personnel to ensure 
                that the firefighting personnel can carry out 
                their duties.
                  [(F) To fund emergency medical services 
                provided by fire departments and nonaffiliated 
                EMS organizations.
                  [(G) To acquire additional firefighting 
                vehicles, including fire trucks.
                  [(H) To acquire additional firefighting 
                equipment, including equipment for fighting 
                fires with foam in remote areas without access 
                to water, and equipment for communications, 
                monitoring, and response to a terrorism 
                incident or use of a weapon of mass 
                destruction.
                  [(I) To acquire personal protective equipment 
                required for firefighting personnel by the 
                Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 
                and other personal protective equipment for 
                firefighting personnel, including protective 
                equipment to respond to a terrorism incident or 
                the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
                  [(J) To modify fire stations, fire training 
                facilities, and other facilities to protect the 
                health and safety of firefighting personnel.
                  [(K) To enforce fire codes.
                  [(L) To fund fire prevention programs.
                  [(M) To educate the public about arson 
                prevention and detection.
                  [(N) To provide incentives for the 
                recruitment and retention of volunteer 
                firefighting personnel for volunteer 
                firefighting departments and other firefighting 
                departments that utilize volunteers.
          [(4) Fire prevention and firefighter safety research 
        and development programs.--
                  [(A) In general.--For each fiscal year, the 
                Director shall use not less than 5 percent of 
                the funds made available under subsection (e)--
                          [(i) to make grants to fire 
                        departments for the purpose described 
                        in paragraph (3)(L); and
                          [(ii) to make grants to, or enter 
                        into contracts or cooperative 
                        agreements with, national, State, 
                        local, or community organizations that 
                        are not fire departments and that are 
                        recognized for their experience and 
                        expertise with respect to fire 
                        prevention or fire safety programs and 
                        activities, and firefighter research 
                        and development programs, for the 
                        purpose of carrying out fire prevention 
                        programs and research to improve 
                        firefighter health and life safety.
                  [(B) Priority.--In selecting organizations 
                described in subparagraph (A)(ii) to receive 
                assistance under this paragraph, the Director 
                shall give priority to organizations that focus 
                on prevention of injuries to high risk groups 
                from fire, as well as research programs that 
                demonstrate the potential to improve 
                firefighter safety.
                  [(C) Grant limitation.--A grant under this 
                paragraph shall not be greater than $1,000,000 
                for a fiscal year.
          [(5) Application.--The Director may provide 
        assistance to a fire department or organization under 
        this subsection only if the fire department or 
        organization seeking the assistance submits to the 
        Director an application that meets the following 
        requirements:
                  [(A) Form.--The application shall be in such 
                form as the Director may require.
                  [(B) Information.--The application shall 
                include the following information:
                          [(i) Financial need.--Information 
                        that demonstrates the financial need of 
                        the applicant for the assistance for 
                        which applied.
                          [(ii) Cost-benefit analysis.--An 
                        analysis of the costs and benefits, 
                        with respect to public safety, of the 
                        use of the assistance.
                          [(iii) Reporting systems data.--An 
                        agreement to provide information to the 
                        national fire incident reporting system 
                        for the period covered by the 
                        assistance.
                          [(iv) Other federal support.--A list 
                        of other sources of Federal funding 
                        received by the applicant. The 
                        Director, in coordination with the 
                        Secretary of Homeland Security, shall 
                        use such list to prevent unnecessary 
                        duplication of grant funds.
                          [(v) Other information.--Any other 
                        information that the Director may 
                        require.
          [(6) Matching requirement.--
                  [(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraphs 
                (B) and (C), the Director may provide 
                assistance under this subsection only if the 
                applicant for such assistance agrees to match 
                20 percent of such assistance for any fiscal 
                year with an equal amount of non-Federal funds.
                  [(B) Requirement for small community 
                organizations.--In the case of an applicant 
                whose personnel--
                          [(i) serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or 
                        fewer residents, the percent applied 
                        under the matching requirement of 
                        subparagraph (A) shall be 10 percent; 
                        and
                          [(ii) serve jurisdictions of 20,000 
                        or fewer residents, the percent applied 
                        under the matching requirement of 
                        subparagraph (A) shall be 5 percent.
                  [(C) Fire prevention and firefighter safety 
                grants.--There shall be no matching requirement 
                for a grant described in paragraph (4)(A)(ii).
          [(7) Maintenance of expenditures.--The Director may 
        provide assistance under this subsection only if the 
        applicant for the assistance agrees to maintain in the 
        fiscal year for which the assistance will be received 
        the applicant's aggregate expenditures for the uses 
        described in paragraph (3) or (4) at or above the 
        average level of such expenditures in the two fiscal 
        years preceding the fiscal year for which the 
        assistance will be received.
          [(8) Report to the director.--The Director may 
        provide assistance under this subsection only if the 
        applicant for the assistance agrees to submit to the 
        Director a report, including a description of how the 
        assistance was used, with respect to each fiscal year 
        for which the assistance was received.
          [(9) Variety of fire department grant recipients.--
        The Director shall ensure that grants under paragraph 
        (1)(A) for a fiscal year are made to a variety of fire 
        departments, including, to the extent that there are 
        eligible applicants--
                  [(A) paid, volunteer, and combination fire 
                departments;
                  [(B) fire departments located in communities 
                of varying sizes; and
                  [(C) fire departments located in urban, 
                suburban, and rural communities.
          [(10) Grant limitations.--
                  [(A) Recipient limitations.--A grant 
                recipient under subsection (b)(1)(A)--
                          [(i) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        500,000 people or less may not receive 
                        grants in excess of $1,000,000 for any 
                        fiscal year;
                          [(ii) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        more than 500,000 but not more than 
                        1,000,000 people may not receive grants 
                        in excess of $1,750,000 for any fiscal 
                        year; and
                          [(iii) that serves a jurisdiction 
                        with more than 1,000,000 people may not 
                        receive grants in excess of $2,750,000 
                        for any fiscal year.
                The Director may award grants in excess of the 
                limitations provided in clause (i) and (ii) if 
                the Director determines that extraordinary need 
                for assistance by a jurisdiction warrants a 
                waiver.
                  [(B) Distribution.--Notwithstanding 
                subparagraph (A), no single recipient may 
                receive more than the lesser of $2,750,000 or 
                one half of one percent of the funds 
                appropriated under this section for a single 
                fiscal year.
                  [(C) Limitation on expenditures for 
                firefighting vehicles.--Not more than 25 
                percent of the funds appropriated to provide 
                grants under this section for a fiscal year may 
                be used to assist grant recipients to purchase 
                vehicles, as authorized by paragraph (3)(G).
                  [(D) Requirements for grants for emergency 
                medical services.--Subject to the restrictions 
                in subparagraph (E), not less than 3.5 percent 
                of the funds appropriated under this section 
                for a fiscal year shall be awarded for purposes 
                described in paragraph (3)(F).
                  [(E) Nonaffiliated ems limitation.--Not more 
                than 2 percent of the funds appropriated to 
                provide grants under this section for a fiscal 
                year shall be awarded to nonaffiliated EMS 
                organizations.
                  [(F) Application of selection criteria to 
                grant applications from nonaffiliated ems 
                organizations.--In reviewing applications 
                submitted by nonaffiliated EMS organizations, 
                the Director shall consider the extent to which 
                other sources of Federal funding are available 
                to provide assistance requested in such grant 
                applications.
          [(11) Reservation of grant funds for volunteer 
        departments.--In making grants to firefighting 
        departments, the Director shall ensure that those 
        firefighting departments that have either all-volunteer 
        forces of firefighting personnel or combined forces of 
        volunteer and professional firefighting personnel 
        receive a proportion of the total grant funding that is 
        not less than the proportion of the United States 
        population that those firefighting departments protect.
          [(12) Eligible grantee on behalf of alaska native 
        villages.--The Alaska Village Initiatives, a non-profit 
        organization incorporated in the State of Alaska, shall 
        be considered an eligible grantee for purposes of 
        receiving assistance under this section on behalf of 
        Alaska Native villages.
          [(13) Annual meeting.--The Director shall convene an 
        annual meeting of individuals who are members of 
        national fire service organizations and are recognized 
        for expertise in firefighting or emergency medical 
        services provided by fire services, and who are not 
        employees of the Federal Government, for the purpose of 
        recommending criteria for awarding grants under this 
        section for the next fiscal year and recommending any 
        necessary administrative changes to the grant program.
          [(14) Guidelines.--(A) Each year, prior to making any 
        grants under this section, the Director shall publish 
        in the Federal Register--
                  [(i) guidelines that describe the process for 
                applying for grants and the criteria for 
                awarding grants; and
                  [(ii) an explanation of any differences 
                between the guidelines and the recommendations 
                made pursuant to paragraph (13).
          [(B) The criteria for awarding grants under 
        subsection (b)(1)(A) shall include the extent to which 
        the grant would enhance the daily operations of the 
        applicant and the impact of such a grant on the 
        protection of lives and property.
          [(15) Peer review.--The Director shall, after 
        consultation with national fire service organizations, 
        appoint fire service personnel to conduct peer review 
        of applications received under paragraph (5). In making 
        grants under this section, the Director shall consider 
        the results of such peer review evaluations.
          [(16) Applicability of federal advisory committee 
        act.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 
        App.) shall not apply to activities under paragraphs 
        (13) and (15).
          [(17) Accounting determination.--Notwithstanding any 
        other provision of law, rule, regulation, or guidance, 
        for purposes of receiving assistance under this 
        section, equipment costs shall include, but not be 
        limited to, all costs attributable to any design, 
        purchase of components, assembly, manufacture, and 
        transportation of equipment not otherwise commercially 
        available.
  [(c) Audits.--A recipient of a grant under this section shall 
be subject to audits to ensure that the grant proceeds are 
expended for the intended purposes and that the grant recipient 
complies with the requirements of paragraphs (6) and (7) of 
subsection (b).
  [(d) Definitions.--In this section--
          [(1) the term ``Director'' means the Director, acting 
        through the Administrator;
          [(2) the term ``nonaffiliated EMS organization'' 
        means a public or private nonprofit emergency medical 
        services organization that is not affiliated with a 
        hospital and does not serve a geographic area in which 
        the Director finds that emergency medical services are 
        adequately provided by a fire department; and
          [(3) the term ``State'' includes the District of 
        Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  [(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          [(1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated for the purposes of this section 
        $900,000,000 for fiscal year 2005, $950,000,000 for 
        fiscal year 2006, and $1,000,000,000 for each of the 
        fiscal years 2007 through 2009. Of the amounts 
        authorized in this paragraph, $3,000,000 shall be made 
        available each year through fiscal year 2008 for foam 
        firefighting equipment.
          [(2) Administrative expenses.--Of the funds 
        appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) for a fiscal 
        year, the Director may use not more than three percent 
        of the funds to cover salaries and expenses and other 
        administrative costs incurred by the Director to make 
        grants and provide assistance under this section.

[SEC. 34. EXPANSION OF PRE-SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, FIRE GRANT PROGRAM.

  [(a) Expanded Authority To Make Grants.--
          [(1) Hiring grants.--(A) The Administrator shall make 
        grants directly to career, volunteer, and combination 
        fire departments, in consultation with the chief 
        executive of the State in which the applicant is 
        located, for the purpose of increasing the number of 
        firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum 
        standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide 
        adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards, 
        and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments 
        that antedate the creation of the Department of 
        Homeland Security.
          [(B)(i) Grants made under this paragraph shall be for 
        4 years and be used for programs to hire new, 
        additional firefighters.
          [(ii) Grantees are required to commit to retaining 
        for at least 1 year beyond the termination of their 
        grants those firefighters hired under this paragraph.
          [(C) In awarding grants under this subsection, the 
        Administrator may give preferential consideration to 
        applications that involve a non-Federal contribution 
        exceeding the minimums under subparagraph (E).
          [(D) The Administrator may provide technical 
        assistance to States, units of local government, Indian 
        tribal governments, and to other public entities, in 
        furtherance of the purposes of this section.
          [(E) The portion of the costs of hiring firefighters 
        provided by a grant under this paragraph may not 
        exceed--
                  [(i) 90 percent in the first year of the 
                grant;
                  [(ii) 80 percent in the second year of the 
                grant;
                  [(iii) 50 percent in the third year of the 
                grant; and
                  [(iv) 30 percent in the fourth year of the 
                grant.
          [(F) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any 
        firefighter hired with funds provided under this 
        subsection shall not be discriminated against for, or 
        be prohibited from, engaging in volunteer activities in 
        another jurisdiction during off-duty hours.
          [(G) All grants made pursuant to this subsection 
        shall be awarded on a competitive basis through a 
        neutral peer review process.
          [(H) At the beginning of the fiscal year, the 
        Administrator shall set aside 10 percent of the funds 
        appropriated for carrying out this paragraph for 
        departments with majority volunteer or all volunteer 
        personnel. After awards have been made, if less than 10 
        percent of the funds appropriated for carrying out this 
        paragraph are not awarded to departments with majority 
        volunteer or all volunteer personnel, the Administrator 
        shall transfer from funds appropriated for carrying out 
        this paragraph to funds available for carrying out 
        paragraph (2) an amount equal to the difference between 
        the amount that is provided to such fire departments 
        and 10 percent.
          [(2) Recruitment and retention grants.--In addition 
        to any amounts transferred under paragraph (1)(H), the 
        Administrator shall direct at least 10 percent of the 
        total amount of funds appropriated pursuant to this 
        section annually to a competitive grant program for the 
        recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who 
        are involved with or trained in the operations of 
        firefighting and emergency response. Eligible entities 
        shall include volunteer or combination fire 
        departments, and organizations on a local or statewide 
        basis that represent the interests of volunteer 
        firefighters.
  [(b) Applications.--(1) No grant may be made under this 
section unless an application has been submitted to, and 
approved by, the Administrator.
  [(2) An application for a grant under this section shall be 
submitted in such form, and contain such information, as the 
Administrator may prescribe.
  [(3) At a minimum, each application for a grant under this 
section shall--
          [(A) explain the applicant's inability to address the 
        need without Federal assistance;
          [(B) in the case of a grant under subsection (a)(1), 
        explain how the applicant plans to meet the 
        requirements of subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) and (F);
          [(C) specify long-term plans for retaining 
        firefighters following the conclusion of Federal 
        support provided under this section; and
          [(D) provide assurances that the applicant will, to 
        the extent practicable, seek, recruit, and hire members 
        of racial and ethnic minority groups and women in order 
        to increase their ranks within firefighting.
  [(c) Limitation on Use of Funds.--(1) Funds made available 
under this section to fire departments for salaries and 
benefits to hire new, additional firefighters shall not be used 
to supplant State or local funds, or, in the case of Indian 
tribal governments, funds supplied by the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, but shall be used to increase the amount of funds that 
would, in the absence of Federal funds received under this 
section, be made available from State or local sources, or in 
the case of Indian tribal governments, from funds supplied by 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  [(2) No grant shall be awarded pursuant to this section to a 
municipality or other recipient whose annual budget at the time 
of the application for fire-related programs and emergency 
response has been reduced below 80 percent of the average 
funding level in the 3 years prior to the date of enactment of 
this section.
  [(3) Funds appropriated by the Congress for the activities of 
any agency of an Indian tribal government or the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs performing firefighting functions on any Indian 
lands may be used to provide the non-Federal share of the cost 
of programs or projects funded under this section.
  [(4)(A) Total funding provided under this section over 4 
years for hiring a firefighter may not exceed $100,000.
  [(B) The $100,000 cap shall be adjusted annually for 
inflation beginning in fiscal year 2005.
  [(d) Performance Evaluation.--The Administrator may require a 
grant recipient to submit any information the Administrator 
considers reasonably necessary to evaluate the program.
  [(e) Sunset and Reports.--The authority under this section to 
make grants shall lapse at the conclusion of 10 years from the 
date of enactment of this section. Not later than 6 years after 
the date of the enactment of this section, the Administrator 
shall submit a report to Congress concerning the experience 
with, and effectiveness of, such grants in meeting the 
objectives of this section. The report may include any 
recommendations the Administrator may have for amendments to 
this section and related provisions of law.
  [(f) Revocation or Suspension of Funding.--If the 
Administrator determines that a grant recipient under this 
section is not in substantial compliance with the terms and 
requirements of an approved grant application submitted under 
this section, the Administrator may revoke or suspend funding 
of that grant, in whole or in part.
  [(g) Access to Documents.--(1) The Administrator shall have 
access for the purpose of audit and examination to any 
pertinent books, documents, papers, or records of a grant 
recipient under this section and to the pertinent books, 
documents, papers, or records of State and local governments, 
persons, businesses, and other entities that are involved in 
programs, projects, or activities for which assistance is 
provided under this section.
  [(2) Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to audits and 
examinations conducted by the Comptroller General of the United 
States or by an authorized representative of the Comptroller 
General.
  [(h) Definitions.--In this section, the term--
          [(1) ``firefighter'' has the meaning given the term 
        ``employee in fire protection activities'' under 
        section 3(y) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 
        203(y)); and
          [(2) ``Indian tribe'' means a tribe, band, pueblo, 
        nation, or other organized group or community of 
        Indians, including an Alaska Native village (as defined 
        in or established under the Alaska Native Claims 
        Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is 
        recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
        services provided by the United States to Indians 
        because of their status as Indians.
  [(i) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
to be appropriated for the purposes of carrying out this 
section--
          [(1) $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2004;
          [(2) $1,030,000,000 for fiscal year 2005;
          [(3) $1,061,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
          [(4) $1,093,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
          [(5) $1,126,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;
          [(6) $1,159,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
          [(7) $1,194,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.]

SEC. 33. FIREFIGHTER ASSISTANCE.

  (a) Assistance Program.--
          (1) Authority.--In accordance with this section, the 
        Director may--
                  (A) make grants on a competitive basis 
                directly to fire departments of a State, in 
                consultation with the chief executive of the 
                State, for the purpose of protecting the health 
                and safety of the public and firefighting 
                personnel throughout the Nation against fire 
                and fire-related hazards;
                  (B) make grants on a competitive basis 
                directly to State fire training academies, in 
                consultation with the chief executive of the 
                State, in accordance with paragraph (11)(C);
                  (C) provide assistance for fire prevention 
                and firefighter safety research and development 
                programs and fire prevention or fire safety 
                programs and activities in accordance with 
                paragraph (4); and
                  (D) provide assistance for volunteer, non-
                fire service EMS and rescue organizations for 
                the purpose of paragraph (3)(F).
          (2) Administrative assistance.--The Director shall 
        establish specific criteria for the selection of 
        recipients of assistance under this section and shall 
        provide grant-writing assistance to applicants.
          (3) Use of fire department grant funds.--The Director 
        may make a grant under paragraph (1)(A) only if the 
        applicant for the grant agrees to use the grant funds 
        for one or more of the following purposes:
                  (A) To hire additional firefighting 
                personnel.
                  (B) To train firefighting personnel in 
                firefighting, emergency medical services and 
                other emergency response (including response to 
                a terrorism incident or use of a weapon of mass 
                destruction), arson prevention and detection, 
                maritime firefighting, or the handling of 
                hazardous materials or to train firefighting 
                personnel to provide any of the training 
                described in this subparagraph.
                  (C) To fund the creation of rapid 
                intervention teams to protect firefighting 
                personnel at the scenes of fires and other 
                emergencies.
                  (D) To certify fire and building inspectors 
                employed by a fire department or serving as a 
                volunteer building inspector with a fire 
                department.
                  (E) To establish wellness and fitness 
                programs for firefighting personnel to ensure 
                that the firefighting personnel can carry out 
                their duties, including programs dedicated to 
                raising awareness of, and prevention of, job-
                related mental health issues.
                  (F) To fund emergency medical services 
                provided by fire departments and volunteer, 
                non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations.
                  (G) To acquire additional firefighting 
                vehicles, including fire trucks.
                  (H) To acquire additional firefighting 
                equipment, including equipment for 
                communications, monitoring, and response to a 
                terrorism incident or use of a weapon of mass 
                destruction.
                  (I) To acquire personal protective equipment 
                required for firefighting personnel by the 
                Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
                and other personal protective equipment for 
                firefighting personnel, including protective 
                equipment to respond to a terrorism incident or 
                the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
                  (J) To modify fire stations, fire training 
                facilities, and other facilities to protect the 
                health and safety of firefighting personnel.
                  (K) To enforce fire codes and standards.
                  (L) To fund fire prevention programs.
                  (M) To educate the public about arson 
                prevention and detection.
                  (N) To provide incentives for the recruitment 
                and retention of volunteer firefighting 
                personnel for volunteer firefighting 
                departments and other firefighting departments 
                that utilize volunteers.
          (4) Fire prevention and firefighter safety research 
        and development programs.--
                  (A) In general.--For each fiscal year, the 
                Director shall use not less than 10 percent of 
                the funds made available under subsection (e)--
                          (i) to make grants to fire 
                        departments for the purpose described 
                        in paragraph (3)(L);
                          (ii) to make grants to, or enter into 
                        contracts or cooperative agreements 
                        with, national, State, local, or 
                        community organizations that are not 
                        fire departments but--
                                  (I) that are recognized for 
                                their experience and expertise 
                                with respect to fire prevention 
                                or fire safety programs and 
                                activities and that partner 
                                with fire departments, for the 
                                purpose of carrying out such 
                                programs and activities;
                                  (II) engage in fire- and life 
                                safety-related activities as a 
                                primary purpose or function, 
                                for the purpose of carrying out 
                                fire prevention or fire safety 
                                programs and activities; or
                                  (III) that are recognized for 
                                their experience and expertise 
                                with respect to firefighter 
                                research and development 
                                programs, for the purpose of 
                                carrying out research on fire 
                                prevention or fire safety 
                                programs and activities or to 
                                improve firefighter health and 
                                life safety; and
                          (iii) if the Director determines that 
                        it is necessary, to make grants or 
                        enter into contracts in accordance with 
                        subsection (c).
                  (B) Priority.--In selecting organizations 
                described in subparagraph (A)(ii) to receive 
                assistance under this paragraph, the Director 
                shall give priority to organizations that focus 
                on prevention of injuries to high risk groups 
                from fire, as well as research programs that 
                demonstrate the potential to improve 
                firefighter safety.
                  (C) Grant limitation.--A grant under this 
                paragraph shall not exceed $1,500,000 for a 
                fiscal year.
                  (D) Limitation.--None of the funds made 
                available under this paragraph may be provided 
                to the Association of Community Organizations 
                for Reform Now (ACORN) or any of its 
                affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied 
                organizations.
          (5) Application.--The Director may provide assistance 
        to a fire department or organization (including a State 
        fire training academy) under this subsection only if 
        the fire department or organization seeking the 
        assistance submits to the Director an application that 
        meets the following requirements:
                  (A) Form.--The application shall be in such 
                form as the Director may require.
                  (B) Information.--The application shall 
                include the following information:
                          (i) Information that demonstrates the 
                        financial need of the applicant for the 
                        assistance for which applied.
                          (ii) An analysis of the costs and 
                        benefits, with respect to public 
                        safety, of the use of the assistance.
                          (iii) An agreement to provide 
                        information to the national fire 
                        incident reporting system for the 
                        period covered by the assistance.
                          (iv) A list of other sources of 
                        Federal funding received by the 
                        applicant.
                          (v) Any other information that the 
                        Director may require.
                  (C) Unnecessary duplication.--The Director, 
                in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland 
                Security, shall use the list provided under 
                subparagraph (B)(iv) to prevent the unnecessary 
                duplication of grant funds.
          (6) Matching requirement.--
                  (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraphs (B) 
                and (C) and paragraph (8), the Director may 
                provide assistance under this subsection only 
                if the applicant for such assistance agrees to 
                match 10 percent of such assistance for any 
                fiscal year with an equal amount of non-Federal 
                funds.
                  (B) Requirement for small community 
                organizations.--In the case of an applicant 
                whose personnel serve jurisdictions of 20,000 
                or fewer residents, the percent applied under 
                the matching requirement of subparagraph (A) 
                shall be 5 percent.
                  (C) Fire prevention and firefighter safety 
                grants exception.--There shall be no matching 
                requirement for a grant described in paragraph 
                (4).
          (7) Maintenance of expenditures.--Subject to 
        paragraph (8), the Director may provide assistance 
        under this subsection only if the applicant for the 
        assistance agrees to maintain in the fiscal year for 
        which the assistance will be received the applicant's 
        aggregate expenditures for the uses described in 
        paragraph (3) or (4) at or above 80 percent of the 
        average level of such expenditures in the 2 fiscal 
        years preceding the fiscal year for which the 
        assistance will be received.
          (8) Economic hardship waiver.--
                  (A) In general.--In exceptional 
                circumstances, the Director may waive or reduce 
                the matching requirement under paragraph (6) 
                and the maintenance of expenditures requirement 
                under paragraph (7) for applicants facing 
                demonstrated economic hardship.
                  (B) Criteria development.--The criteria under 
                which the Director may waive or reduce such 
                requirements shall be developed in consultation 
                with individuals who are--
                          (i) recognized for expertise in 
                        firefighting, emergency medical 
                        services provided by fire services, or 
                        the economic affairs of State and local 
                        governments; and
                          (ii) members of national fire service 
                        organizations or national organizations 
                        representing the interests of State and 
                        local governments.
                  (C) Public availability.--The Director shall 
                make the criteria developed under subparagraph 
                (B) publicly available.
          (9) Variety of fire department grant recipients.--
                  (A) In general.--Of the amounts made 
                available under subsection (e), the Director 
                shall ensure that grants under paragraph (1)(A) 
                for a fiscal year are allocated, to the extent 
                that there are eligible applicants to carry out 
                the activities under paragraph (3), as follows:
                          (i) 25 percent shall be made 
                        available to career fire departments.
                          (ii) 25 percent shall be made 
                        available to volunteer fire 
                        departments.
                          (iii) 25 percent shall be made 
                        available to combination fire 
                        departments.
                  (B) Evaluation criteria.--
                          (i) In general.--In awarding grants 
                        under paragraph (1)(A), the Director 
                        shall, within each category of 
                        applicants under subparagraph (A), 
                        consider a broad range of factors 
                        important to the applicant's ability to 
                        respond to fires and related hazards, 
                        such as population served, geographic 
                        response area, hazard vulnerability, 
                        call volume, financial situation, and 
                        need for training or equipment.
                          (ii) High population and incident 
                        response.--In considering such factors 
                        under clause (i), applicants serving 
                        areas with high population and with a 
                        high number of incidents requiring a 
                        response shall receive a higher level 
                        of consideration.
                  (C) Remainder.--Of the amounts made available 
                under subsection (e) that are not allocated for 
                use and awarded under subparagraph (A) or 
                designated for use under any other provision of 
                this section, the Director shall provide for an 
                open competition for grants among career fire 
                departments, volunteer fire departments, and 
                combination fire departments to carry out the 
                activities under paragraph (3).
          (10) Report to the director.--The Director may 
        provide assistance under this subsection only if the 
        applicant for the assistance agrees to submit to the 
        Director a report, including a description of how the 
        assistance was used, with respect to each fiscal year 
        for which the assistance was received.
          (11) Grant limitations.--
                  (A) Recipient limitations.--A grant recipient 
                under paragraph (1)(A)--
                          (i) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        100,000 people or less may not receive 
                        grants in excess of $1,000,000 for any 
                        fiscal year;
                          (ii) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        more than 100,000 people but less than 
                        500,000 people may not receive grants 
                        in excess of $2,000,000 for any fiscal 
                        year;
                          (iii) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        500,000 people or more but less than 
                        1,000,000 people may not receive grants 
                        in excess of $3,000,000 for any fiscal 
                        year;
                          (iv) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        1,000,000 people or more but less than 
                        2,500,000 people may not receive grants 
                        in excess of $6,000,000 for any fiscal 
                        year; and
                          (v) that serves a jurisdiction with 
                        2,500,000 people or more may not 
                        receive grants in excess of $9,000,000 
                        for any fiscal year.
                The Director may award grants in excess of the 
                limitations provided in clauses (i), (ii), 
                (iii), and (iv) if the Director determines that 
                extraordinary need for assistance by a 
                jurisdiction warrants a waiver.
                  (B) Limitation on expenditures for 
                firefighting vehicles.--Not more than 25 
                percent of the funds appropriated to provide 
                grants under this section for a fiscal year may 
                be used to assist grant recipients to purchase 
                vehicles, as authorized by paragraph (3)(G).
                  (C) State fire training academies.--
                          (i) In general.--In accordance with 
                        clause (ii), the Director shall award 
                        not more than 3 percent of the amounts 
                        made available under subsection (e) for 
                        a fiscal year for grants under this 
                        subsection for State fire training 
                        academies.
                          (ii) Limitation.--The Director 
                        shall--
                                  (I) award not more than 1 
                                grant under this subparagraph 
                                per State in a fiscal year;
                                  (II) limit the amount of a 
                                grant to a State fire training 
                                academy to less than or equal 
                                to$1,000,000 in each fiscal 
                                year; and
                                  (III) ensure that any grant 
                                awarded to a State fire 
                                training academy shall be used 
                                for the purposes described in 
                                paragraphs 3(G), 3(H), or 3(I).
                  (D) Requirements for grants for emergency 
                medical services.--The Director shall award not 
                more than 2 percent of the amounts made 
                available under subsection (e) for a fiscal 
                year to volunteer, non-fire service EMS and 
                rescue organizations for the purposes described 
                in paragraph (3)(F).
                  (E) Application of selection criteria to 
                grant applications from volunteer, non-fire 
                service ems and rescue organizations.--In 
                reviewing applications submitted by volunteer, 
                non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations, 
                the Director shall consider the extent to which 
                other sources of Federal funding are available 
                to provide the assistance requested in such 
                grant applications.
                  (F) Consensus standards.--
                          (i) In general.--Any grant amounts 
                        used to obtain training under this 
                        section shall be limited to training 
                        that complies with applicable national 
                        voluntary consensus standards (if 
                        applicable national voluntary consensus 
                        standards have been established), 
                        unless a waiver has been granted under 
                        clause (ii).
                          (ii) Waiver.--
                                  (I) Explanation for non-
                                standard training.--If an 
                                applicant for a grant seeks to 
                                use the assistance provided 
                                under the grant to obtain 
                                training that does not meet or 
                                exceed applicable voluntary 
                                consensus standards, the 
                                applicant shall include in the 
                                application an explanation of 
                                why such training will serve 
                                the needs of the applicant 
                                better than training that does 
                                meet or exceed such standards.
                                  (II) Procedures.--In making a 
                                determination whether or not to 
                                waive the requirement under 
                                clause (i) with respect to a 
                                specific standard, the Director 
                                shall, to the greatest extent 
                                practicable--
                                          (aa) consult with 
                                        other members of the 
                                        fire services regarding 
                                        the impact on fire 
                                        departments of the 
                                        requirement to meet or 
                                        exceed the specific 
                                        standard;
                                          (bb) take into 
                                        consideration the 
                                        explanation provided by 
                                        the applicant under 
                                        subclause (I); and
                                          (cc) seek to minimize 
                                        the impact of the 
                                        requirement to meet or 
                                        exceed the specific 
                                        standard on the 
                                        applicant, particularly 
                                        if meeting the standard 
                                        would impose additional 
                                        costs.
                                  (III) Additional requests.--
                                Applicants that apply for a 
                                grant under the terms of 
                                subclause (I) may include a 
                                second grant request in the 
                                application to be considered by 
                                the Director in the event that 
                                the Director does not approve 
                                the primary grant request on 
                                the grounds of the training not 
                                meeting applicable voluntary 
                                consensus standards.
          (12) Eligible grantee on behalf of alaska native 
        villages.--The Alaska Village Initiatives, a non-profit 
        organization incorporated in the State of Alaska, shall 
        be considered an eligible grantee for purposes of 
        receiving assistance under this section on behalf of 
        Alaska Native villages.
          (13) Annual meeting.--The Director shall convene an 
        annual meeting of individuals who are members of 
        national fire service organizations and are recognized 
        for expertise in firefighting or emergency medical 
        services provided by fire services, and who are not 
        employees of the Federal Government, for the purpose of 
        recommending criteria for awarding grants under this 
        section for the next fiscal year and any necessary 
        administrative changes to the grant program.
          (14) Guidelines.--
                  (A) In general.--Each year, prior to making 
                any grants under this section, the Director 
                shall publish in the Federal Register--
                          (i) guidelines that describe the 
                        process for applying for grants and the 
                        criteria for awarding grants;
                          (ii) an explanation of any 
                        differences between the guidelines and 
                        the recommendations made pursuant to 
                        paragraph (13); and
                          (iii) the criteria developed under 
                        paragraph (8) which the Director will 
                        use to evaluate applicants for waivers 
                        from program requirements.
                  (B) Specific requirement.--The criteria for 
                awarding grants under paragraph (1)(A) shall 
                include the extent to which the grant would 
                enhance the daily operations of the applicant 
                and the impact of such a grant on the 
                protection of lives and property.
          (15) Peer review.--The Director, after consultation 
        with national fire service organizations, shall appoint 
        fire service personnel to conduct peer review of 
        applications received under paragraph (5). In making 
        grants under this section, the Director shall consider 
        the results of such peer review evaluations.
          (16) Applicability of federal advisory committee 
        act.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 
        App.) shall not apply to activities under paragraphs 
        (13) and (15).
          (17) Accounting determination.--Notwithstanding any 
        other provision of law, rule, regulation, or guidance, 
        for purposes of receiving assistance under this 
        section, equipment costs shall include all costs 
        attributable to any design, purchase of components, 
        assembly, manufacture, and transportation of equipment 
        not otherwise commercially available.
  (b) Audits.--A recipient of a grant under this section shall 
be subject to audits to ensure that the grant proceeds are 
expended for the intended purposes and that the grant recipient 
complies with the requirements of paragraphs (6) and (7) of 
subsection (a) unless the Director has granted a waiver under 
subsection (a)(8).
  (c) Fire Safety Research Centers.--
          (1) In general.--The Director may make a grant under 
        subsection (a)(4)(A)(iii) to an institution of higher 
        education, a national fire service organization, or a 
        national fire safety organization to establish and 
        operate a fire safety research center.
          (2) Objectives.--A grant received under this 
        subsection shall be used by such an institution or 
        organization to advance significantly the Nation's 
        ability to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and 
        injuries among firefighters and the general public 
        through research, development, and technology transfer 
        activities.
          (3) Limitation.--The Director may establish no more 
        than 3 fire safety research centers. An institution of 
        higher education, a national fire service organization, 
        or a national fire safety organization may not directly 
        receive a grant under this section for a fiscal year 
        for more than 1 fire safety research center.
          (4) Application.--In order to be eligible to receive 
        a fire safety research center grant, an institution of 
        higher education, a national fire service organization, 
        or a national fire safety organization shall submit to 
        the Director an application that is in such form and 
        contains such information and assurances as the 
        Director may require.
          (5) General selection criteria.--The Director shall 
        select each recipient of a grant under this subsection 
        through a competitive process on the basis of the 
        following:
                  (A) The demonstrated research and extension 
                resources available to the recipient to carry 
                out the research, development, and technology 
                transfer activities.
                  (B) The capability of the recipient to 
                provide leadership in making national 
                contributions to fire safety.
                  (C) The recipient's ability to disseminate 
                the results of fire safety research.
                  (D) The strategic plan the recipient proposes 
                to carry out under the grant.
          (6) Consideration.--The Director shall give special 
        consideration under paragraph (5) to an applicant for a 
        grant that consists of a partnership between a national 
        fire service organization or a national fire safety 
        organization and at least 1 of the following:
                  (A) An institution of higher education.
                  (B) A minority-serving institution (defined 
                as an eligible institution under section 371(a) 
                of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                1067q(a))).
          (7) Research needs.--Within 90 days after the date of 
        enactment of the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 
        2009, the Director shall convene a workshop of the fire 
        safety research community, fire service organizations, 
        and other appropriate stakeholders to identify and 
        prioritize fire safety research needs. The results of 
        the workshop shall be made public, and the Director 
        shall consider such results in making awards under this 
        section.
  (d) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1) Career fire department.--The term ``career fire 
        department'' means a firefighting department that has 
        an all professional force of firefighting personnel.
          (2) Combination fire department.--The term 
        ``combination fire department'' means a firefighting 
        department that has a combined force of professional 
        and volunteer firefighting personnel.
          (3) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the 
        Director, acting through the Administrator.
          (4) Firefighting personnel.--The term ``firefighting 
        personnel'' means individuals, including volunteers, 
        who are firefighters, officers of fire departments, or 
        emergency medical service personnel of fire 
        departments.
          (5) Institution of higher education.--The term 
        ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 101 of the Higher Education 
        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).
          (6) Volunteer, non-fire service ems and rescue 
        organization.--The term ``volunteer, non-fire service 
        EMS and rescue organization'' means a public or private 
        nonprofit emergency medical services organization 
        that--
                  (A) is not affiliated with a hospital;
                  (B) does not serve a geographic area in which 
                the Director finds that emergency medical 
                services are adequately provided by a fire 
                department; and
                  (C) is staffed primarily by volunteers.
          (7) Volunteer fire department.--The term ``volunteer 
        fire department'' means a firefighting department that 
        has an all volunteer force of firefighting personnel.
  (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated for the purposes of this section 
        $1,000,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 
        through 2014.
          (2) Administrative expenses.--
                  (A) In general.--Of the funds appropriated 
                pursuant to paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, 
                the Director may use not more than 3 percent of 
                the funds to cover salaries and expenses and 
                other administrative costs incurred by the 
                Director to make grants and provide assistance 
                under this section.
                  (B) Formula.--The Director shall subtract the 
                amount to be used for subparagraph (A) from the 
                amount appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) 
                before making any allocations or apportioning 
                any funds under subsections (a) or (c).

SEC. 34. EXPANSION OF PRE-SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, FIRE GRANT PROGRAM.

  (a) Expanded Authority To Make Grants.--
          (1) Hiring grants.--
                  (A) In general.--The Director shall make 
                grants directly to career, volunteer, and 
                combination fire departments, in consultation 
                with the chief executive of the State in which 
                the applicant is located, for the purpose of 
                increasing the number of firefighters to help 
                communities meet industry minimum standards and 
                attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate 
                protection from fire and fire-related hazards 
                and to fulfill traditional missions of fire 
                departments that antedate the creation of the 
                Department of Homeland Security.
                  (B) Requirements.--
                          (i) Duration and use.--Grants made 
                        under this paragraph shall be for 3 
                        years and shall be used for programs to 
                        hire new, additional firefighters.
                          (ii) Retention.--Grant recipients are 
                        required to commit to retaining for at 
                        least the entire 3 years of the grant 
                        period those firefighters hired under 
                        this paragraph.
                          (iii) Maximum.--The portion of the 
                        cost of hiring firefighters provided by 
                        a grant under this paragraph may not 
                        exceed 80 percent of such cost for each 
                        fiscal year.
                  (C) Preference.--In awarding grants under 
                this subsection, the Director may give 
                preferential consideration to applications that 
                involve a non-Federal contribution exceeding 
                the minimums under subparagraph (B)(iii).
                  (D) Technical assistance.--The Director may 
                provide technical assistance to States, units 
                of local government, Indian tribal governments, 
                and other public entities in furtherance of the 
                purposes of this section.
                  (E) Volunteer activities allowed.--
                Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any 
                firefighter hired with funds provided under 
                this subsection shall not be discriminated 
                against for, or be prohibited from, engaging in 
                volunteer activities in another jurisdiction 
                during off-duty hours.
                  (F) Competitive basis.--The Director shall 
                award all grants under this section on a 
                competitive basis through a neutral peer review 
                process.
                  (G) Set aside.--
                          (i) In general.--At the beginning of 
                        the fiscal year, the Director shall set 
                        aside 10 percent of the funds made 
                        available for carrying out this 
                        paragraph for departments with majority 
                        volunteer or all volunteer personnel.
                          (ii) Transfer.--After awards have 
                        been made, if less than 10 percent of 
                        the funds made available for carrying 
                        out this paragraph are not awarded to 
                        departments with majority volunteer or 
                        all volunteer personnel, the Director 
                        shall transfer from funds made 
                        available for carrying out this 
                        paragraph to funds made available for 
                        carrying out paragraph (2) an amount 
                        equal to the difference between the 
                        amount that is provided to such fire 
                        departments and 10 percent.
          (2) Recruitment and retention grants.--
                  (A) In general.--In addition to any amounts 
                transferred under paragraph (1)(G)(ii), the 
                Director shall direct at least 10 percent of 
                the total amount of funds made available under 
                this section annually to a competitive grant 
                program for the recruitment and retention of 
                volunteer firefighters who are involved with or 
                trained in the operations of firefighting and 
                emergency response.
                  (B) Eligibility.--Eligible entities shall 
                include volunteer or combination fire 
                departments and organizations on a local, 
                statewide, or national basis that represent the 
                interests of volunteer firefighters.
  (b) Applications.--
          (1) In general.--No grant may be made under this 
        section unless an application has been submitted to, 
        and approved by, the Director.
          (2) Contents.--An application for a grant under this 
        section shall be submitted in such form and contain 
        such information and assurances as the Director may 
        prescribe.
          (3) Requirements.--At a minimum, each application for 
        a grant under this section shall--
                  (A) explain the applicant's inability to 
                address the need without Federal assistance;
                  (B) in the case of a grant under subsection 
                (a)(1), explain how the applicant plans to meet 
                the requirements of subparagraphs (B)(ii) and 
                (E) of such subsection;
                  (C) specify long-term plans for retaining 
                firefighters following the conclusion of 
                Federal support provided under this section; 
                and
                  (D) provide assurances that the applicant 
                will, to the extent practicable, seek, recruit, 
                and hire members of racial and ethnic minority 
                groups and women in order to increase their 
                ranks within firefighting.
  (c) Limitation on Use of Funds.--
          (1) Supplement, not supplant.--Funds made available 
        under this section to fire departments for salaries and 
        benefits to hire new, additional firefighters shall not 
        be used to supplant State or local funds, or, in the 
        case of Indian tribal governments, funds supplied by 
        the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but shall be used to 
        increase the amount of funds that would, in the absence 
        of Federal funds received under this section, be made 
        available from State or local sources, or in the case 
        of Indian tribal governments, from funds supplied by 
        the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
          (2) Replacement funding prohibited.--No grant shall 
        be awarded pursuant to this section to a municipality 
        or other recipient whose annual budget at the time of 
        the application for fire-related programs and emergency 
        response has been reduced below 80 percent of the 
        average funding level in the 3 years prior to the date 
        of application.
          (3) Indian cost-share.--Funds appropriated by the 
        Congress for the activities of any agency of an Indian 
        tribal government or the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
        performing firefighting functions on any Indian lands 
        may be used to provide the non-Federal share of the 
        cost of programs or projects funded under this section.
  (d) Waiver.--In exceptional circumstances, the Director may 
waive the requirements of subsections (a)(1)(B)(ii), 
(a)(1)(B)(iii), (c)(1), and (c)(2) if the Director determines 
that the jurisdiction is facing demonstrated economic hardship 
in accordance with section 33(a)(8).
  (e) Performance Evaluation.--The Director may require a grant 
recipient to submit any information the Director considers 
reasonably necessary to evaluate the program.
  (f) Sunset; Reports.--
          (1) Sunset.--The authority under this section to make 
        grants shall lapse at the end of the 10-year period 
        that begins on the date of enactment of the Fire Grants 
        Reauthorization Act of 2009.
          (2) Report.--Not later than 6 years after such date 
        of enactment, the Director shall submit to Congress a 
        report concerning the experience with, and 
        effectiveness of, such grants in meeting the objectives 
        of this section. The report may include any 
        recommendations the Director may have for amendments to 
        this section and related provisions of law.
  (g) Revocation or Suspension of Funding.--If the Director 
determines that a grant recipient under this section is not in 
substantial compliance with the terms and requirements of an 
approved grant application submitted under this section, the 
Director may revoke or suspend funding of that grant, in whole 
or in part.
  (h) Access to Documents.--
          (1) In general.--The Director shall have access for 
        the purpose of audit and examination to any pertinent 
        books, documents, papers, or records of a grant 
        recipient under this section and to the pertinent 
        books, documents, papers, or records of State and local 
        governments, persons, businesses, and other entities 
        that are involved in programs, projects, or activities 
        for which assistance is provided under this section.
          (2) Application.--Paragraph (1) shall apply with 
        respect to audits and examinations conducted by the 
        Comptroller General of the United States or by an 
        authorized representative of the Comptroller General.
  (i) Definitions.--In this section, the term--
          (1) ``Director'' means the Director, acting through 
        the Administrator;
          (2) ``firefighter'' has the meaning given the term 
        ``employee in fire protection activities'' under 
        section 3(y) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 
        (29 U.S.C. 203(y)); and
          (3) ``Indian tribe'' means a tribe, band, pueblo, 
        nation, or other organized group or community of 
        Indians, including an Alaska Native village (as defined 
        in or established under the Alaska Native Claims 
        Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is 
        recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
        services provided by the United States to Indians 
        because of their status as Indians.
  (j) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated for the purposes of carrying out this section 
$1,194,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                      XX. Committee Recommendation

    On October 21, 2009, the Committee on Science and 
Technology favorably reported the Fire Grants Reauthorization 
Act of 2009 by voice vote, and recommended its enactment.

                         XXI. Additional Views

                              ----------                              


     ADDITIONAL VIEWS OFFERED BY REPRESENTATIVES RALPH HALL, DANA 
  ROHRABACHER, ROSCOE BARTLETT, VERN EHLERS, JUDY BIGGERT, TODD AKIN, 
 MICHAEL McCAUL, MARIO DIAZ-BALART, BRIAN BILBRAY, ADRIAN SMITH, PAUL 
                          BROUN AND PETE OLSON

       H.R. 3791, THE ``FIRE GRANTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009''

    The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and the 
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) 
program both provide much-needed assistance to fire departments 
across the nation.
    The bill makes several modest changes to the Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant program as well as the SAFER program. These 
changes were developed in close coordination with the leading 
national fire service organizations--all of which have signed 
onto and endorsed this bill--a sign that we have struck the 
right balance and identified the right priorities. We support 
these changes and the underlying reauthorization effort.
    Two amendments aimed at further strengthening the Fire 
Grants programs were offered and passed at Committee. One 
amendment which passed expresses the disappointment of the 
Committee with recent funding trends for the Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant program, and stating that halting and 
reversing these funding trends is a priority. Funding for this 
program has declined by 30 percent since 2004, and will 
decrease by an additional 30 percent if the current House-
passed appropriated level is signed into law. This language was 
added to the bill to express support for funding this important 
program that allows grants to be made to fire departments to 
address a variety of needs such as equipment, training, or 
community outreach.
    The other amendment, which was passed by the Committee on a 
vote of 33-5-1, ensures that funding awards under the Fire 
Prevention and Safety grants would not be given to the 
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) 
or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied 
organizations.
    On September 4, 2009, FEMA awarded ACORN a $1 million fire 
prevention and safety grant for the purpose of installing smoke 
detectors in low-income areas of New Orleans. However, current 
law requires that any non-fire department recipient 
``demonstrate expertise in fire prevention and safety'' in 
order to be eligible for funding. Because of this, and because 
of ACORN's troubling reputation, Members voted to prevent 
ACORN's participation in this program.
    Suggestions were made by some Members that this language 
would be viewed as an unconstitutional ``bill of attainder'' 
under Article I of the Constitution; we do not believe this 
would violate the Constitution. Although it does specify an 
organization for differential treatment, it does not confiscate 
property owned by the organization and is not intended as 
punitive. It prevents future grants to ACORN for a limited 
period of time as a way to ensure the best use of the taxpayer 
dollars authorized under this Act.
    Based on a growing record of corruption, voter fraud, 
embezzlement, racketeering, and tax evasion, any and all 
presumptions of trust in the appropriateness of obligating 
public funds to ACORN have been lost. Accordingly, both Houses 
of Congress took bipartisan action under the initial fiscal 
year 2010 Continuing Resolution (P.L. 111-68) to stop funding 
for ACORN.
    Prior to the Committee's markup of H.R. 3791, 
Representatives Paul Broun and Adrian Smith wrote to FEMA 
Administrator Fugate on October 8, 2009 requesting detailed 
information regarding the circumstances surrounding FEMA's 
decision to award the grant, including but not limited to 
documentation related to (1) the peer review scoring and 
program-level consideration of the grant, (2) FEMA's 
determination that ACORN is ``recognized for their experience 
with respect to fire safety and fire prevention,'' as is 
required by current law, and (3) FEMA's actions to ensure that 
any grant funding awarded to ACORN in prior fiscal years was 
used for its intended purpose. This request was intended to 
provide FEMA an opportunity to justify its actions associated 
with the ACORN grant in advance of the full Committee markup of 
October 21st. FEMA did not provide a response, raising further 
questions regarding its oversight of the AFG program.
    The concerns associated with the issuance of the ACORN 
grant are further exacerbated by the highly competitive nature 
of AFG Fire Prevention and Safety grants. From fiscal year 2005 
through fiscal year 2007, $1.1 billion was requested for FP&S; 
activities, and over 90 percent of applicants were fire 
departments. However, only $105 million, or 9.5 percent, was 
awarded, indicating the overwhelming majority of funding 
requested by fire departments under this program has declined.
    For these reasons, Committee Republicans strongly supported 
this amendment and emphasize the priority of ensuring 
responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars under the 
Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Ensuring this 
provision remains intact throughout the legislative process is 
a top priority.
                                   Ralph M. Hall.
                                   Brian P. Bilbray.
                                   Vernon J. Ehlers.
                                   Michael T. McCaul.
                                   Paul C. Broun.
                                   Pete Olson.
                                   Roscoe G. Bartlett.
                                   Dana Rohrabacher.
                                   W. Todd Akin.
                                   Mario Diaz-Balart.
                                   Adrian Smith.
                                   Judy Biggert.

              ADDITIONAL VIEWS OFFERED BY REPRESENTATIVE 
                         F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER

           H.R. 3791, FIRE GRANTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

    Ensuring responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars under 
the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program should be a 
top priority. To this end, an amendment was passed by the 
Committee on a vote of 33-5-1 that ensures that funding awards 
under the Fire Prevention and Safety grants would not be given 
to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now 
(ACORN) or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied 
organizations.
    On September 4, 2009, FEMA awarded ACORN a $1 million fire 
prevention and safety grant for the purpose of installing smoke 
detectors in low-income areas of New Orleans. However, current 
law requires that any non-fire department recipient 
``demonstrate expertise in fire prevention and safety'' in 
order to be eligible for funding. Because of this, and because 
of ACORN's troubling reputation, Members voted to prevent 
ACORN's participation in this program.
    Suggestions were made by some Members that this language 
would be viewed as an unconstitutional ``bill of attainder'' 
under Article I of the Constitution; I do not believe this 
would violate the Constitution. Although it does specify an 
organization for differential treatment, it does not confiscate 
property owned by the organization and is not intended as 
punitive. It prevents future grants to ACORN for a limited 
period of time as a way to ensure the best use of the taxpayer 
dollars authorized under this Act.
    Based on a growing record of corruption, voter fraud, 
embezzlement, racketeering, and tax evasion, any and all 
presumptions of trust in the appropriateness of obligating 
public funds to ACORN have been lost. Accordingly, both Houses 
of Congress took bipartisan action under the initial fiscal 
year 2010 Continuing Resolution (P.L. 111-68) to stop funding 
for ACORN.
    Prior to the Committee's markup of H.R. 3791, 
Representatives Paul Broun and Adrian Smith wrote to FEMA 
Administrator Fugate on October 8, 2009 requesting detailed 
information regarding the circumstances surrounding FEMA's 
decision to award the grant, including but not limited to 
documentation related to (1) the peer review scoring and 
program-level consideration of the grant, (2) FEMA's 
determination that ACORN is ``recognized for their experience 
with respect to fire safety and fire prevention,'' as is 
required by current law, and (3) FEMA's actions to ensure that 
any grant funding awarded to ACORN in prior fiscal years was 
used for its intended purpose. This request was intended to 
provide FEMA an opportunity to justify its actions associated 
with the ACORN grant in advance of the full Committee markup of 
October 21. FEMA did not provide a response, raising further 
questions regarding its oversight of the AFG program.
    The concerns associated with the issuance of the ACORN 
grant are further exacerbated by the highly competitive nature 
of AFG Fire Prevention and Safety grants. From fiscal year 2005 
through fiscal year 2007, $1.1 billion was requested for FP&S; 
activities, and over 90 percent of applicants were fire 
departments. However, only $105 million, or 9.5 percent, was 
awarded, indicating the overwhelming majority of funding 
requested by fire departments under this program has declined.
    For these reasons, I strongly support this amendment and 
emphasize the priority of ensuring responsible stewardship of 
taxpayer dollars under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
(AFG) program. Ensuring this provision remains intact 
throughout the legislative process is a top priority.

                                        F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.





XXIII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARKUP BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY AND 
  INNOVATION ON H.R. 3791, THE FIRE GRANTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2009

                  House of Representatives,
         Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:04 p.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. David Wu 
[Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Wu. Good afternoon. The Subcommittee will come to 
order. Pursuant to notice, the Subcommittee on Technology and 
Innovation meets to consider the following measure: H.R. 3791, 
the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009.
    We have votes coming up on the Floor sometime soon, and the 
aspiration today will be to get through the markup in its 
entirety. If we are not able to do that, we will recess until 
probably sometime tomorrow to finish the markup, and to 
facilitate that, I am going to submit the vast majority of my 
opening statement to be entered into the record, but I just 
want to take one moment to recognize that the Subcommittee has 
been working on this legislation in cooperation with the 
various fire service organizations since this spring. I 
especially want to commend the staffs of this committee for the 
very hard work that they have put in to bring folks together. 
Both Ranking Member Smith and I have been working closely to 
make sure that all stakeholders have their needs met as well as 
possible, and this bill would not have been possible without 
the active work and cooperation of the International 
Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of 
Fire Fighters, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the 
National Fire Protection Association and the entire 
Congressional Fire Services Institute, and I am very, very 
pleased and thankful that everybody pulled together to ensure 
that we have a bill that will benefit all of this nation.
    With that, I will yield to our Ranking Member, Mr. Smith of 
Nebraska, for his hopefully brief opening remarks.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Wu follows:]
                Prepared Statement of Chairman David Wu
    Good afternoon. Today the Subcommittee will consider H.R. 3791, the 
Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009. This bill reauthorizes 
programs that provide critical resources to fire departments across the 
country. At a time when many cities and towns are facing major budget 
shortfalls and cuts in services, federal support to fire departments is 
crucial to public safety.
    This bill reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters Grants 
program--or AFG--and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency 
Response program, known as SAFER.
    Since the AFG program was created in 2000, nearly $5 billion has 
gone directly to fire departments to purchase equipment, training, fire 
trucks, and other resources. AFG also supports fire prevention and 
safety grants, which are used for smoke detectors, fire prevention 
education, and research to reduce the causes of fire and fire-related 
injury and death. In 1973, nearly 12,000 Americans died each year in 
fires. We have made significant strides in reducing this number, but 
still over 3,000 people annually still die in fires, and over 16,000 
are injured. The AFG program has been an essential component of our 
efforts to reduce fire-related injuries and fatalities.
    The SAFER program provides funds to help fire departments hire 
personnel so that they can respond as quickly as possible to a fire 
with enough firefighters to meet the staffing levels that the 
firefighting community has deemed safe. The program has provided nearly 
$700 million to local fire departments in the past four years, funding 
that is especially critical during these difficult economic times.
    The Subcommittee has been working on this legislation in 
cooperation with the major fire service organizations since the spring, 
and this bill reflects the needs and priorities identified by fire 
service experts in a Technology and Innovation Subcommittee hearing 
this July. Both Ranking Member Smith and I have been working closely 
with all of the stakeholders to ensure that their needs and concerns 
are addressed. This bill would not have been possible without the work 
and cooperation of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the 
International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Volunteer Fire 
Council, the National Fire Protection Association, and the 
Congressional Fire Services Institute. I am very pleased that everybody 
pulled together to ensure that we have legislation that will benefit 
the constituents of every Member of Congress. H.R. 3791 is a bipartisan 
bill with 40 original co-sponsors. I strongly support this bill and 
urge a yes vote.
    I will now yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Smith.

    Mr. Smith. Yes, I will make it as brief as I can and submit 
the rest for the record. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    As we learned at our hearing in July and as I have heard in 
discussions with fire chiefs and firefighters in my District, 
the AFG program is frequently cited as a lifesaver and the only 
means by which many departments can acquire up-to-date 
equipment and training which requires a significant portion of 
their budget for their firefighters. Now, this is particularly 
true in rural areas of my District where many communities rely 
upon all-volunteer departments to respond to fires and other 
emergencies. The equipment needed to fight fires and save lives 
and property is costly and required for departments to meet 
certain minimum response capabilities regardless of whether 
they are protecting a community of a few hundred people or a 
large city of a few hundred thousand people. As such, 
firefighter grants have proven absolutely vital for rural and 
volunteer fire departments, which have small tax bases and the 
least ability to acquire such equipment.
    The bill before us today makes several modest changes to 
the AFG and SAFER programs reflecting a compromise reached by 
the leading national fire service organizations who worked 
closely with the Committee to develop the legislation. I 
support the changes and the underlying reauthorization effort 
but I do have some concerns and priorities I hope to address as 
we go forward. In particular, for the reasons I just mentioned, 
I want to ensure the changes made in this legislation do not 
negatively impact the ability of smaller combination and 
volunteer departments to compete for and receive AFG grants, so 
I will be offering an amendment today which attempts to clarify 
the grant process in this respect.
    I also want to note that the funding for the AFG program 
has declined over the last few years and is now far below both 
the currently authorized level as well as the level called for 
in this bill. I hope as we go forward we can find a way to 
reverse this decline while also better aligning authorization 
levels with realistic and responsible expectations for 
appropriations.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and with unanimous consent I 
do have some items for the record.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Adrian Smith
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling this markup today to 
reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security's Firefighters grants 
programs.
    As we learned at our hearing in July and as I have heard in 
discussions with fire chiefs and firefighters in my District, the AFG 
program is frequently cited as a ``lifesaver,'' and the only means by 
which many departments can acquire up-to-date equipment and training--
which requires a significant portion of their budget--for their 
firefighters.
    This is particularly true in the rural areas of my District where 
many communities rely upon all-volunteer departments to respond to 
fires and other emergencies. The equipment needed to fight fires and 
save lives and property is costly, and requires departments to have 
certain minimum response capabilities regardless of whether they are 
protecting a community of a few thousand people or a large city of a 
few hundred thousand people. As such, Firefighter grants have proven 
absolutely vital for rural and volunteer fire departments that have 
small tax bases and the least ability to acquire such equipment.
    The bill before us today makes several modest changes to the AFG 
and SAFER programs, reflecting a compromise reached by the leading 
national fire service organizations that worked closely with the 
Committee to develop this legislation.
    I support these changes and the underlying reauthorization effort, 
but I do have some concerns and priorities that I hope to address as we 
go forward. In particular, and for the reasons I just mentioned, I want 
to ensure that the changes made in this legislation do not negatively 
impact the ability of smaller combination and volunteer departments to 
compete for and receive AFG grants, so I will be offering an amendment 
today that attempts to clarify the grant process in this respect.
    I also want to note that funding for the AFG program has declined 
over the last few years, and is now far below both the currently 
authorized level as well as the level called for in this bill. I hope 
that as we go forward we can find a way to reverse this decline while 
also better aligning authorization levels with realistic and 
responsible expectations for appropriations.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for working with us on 
reauthorization of these programs. I hope for and expect a continued 
smooth process as we go forward. And ask unanimous consent to include 
my statements in the record.

    Chairman Wu. Thank you very much. Without objection, so 
ordered. The items will be entered into the record at this 
point, and now I would like to recognize the gentleman from 
Arizona, Mr. Mitchell, for a short statement.
    Mr. Mitchell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The provisions of this bill reflect the needs of the front-
line stakeholders who protect us all and our constituents from 
fires, and through the testimony from fire service 
representatives this July, the Subcommittee learned that 
changes to matching requirements would enable fire departments 
with the greatest need to take advantage of all the programs. 
And this bill, as I mentioned, is the result of a consensus 
among the fire service organizations including the 
International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International 
Association of Fire Fighters, the National Fire Protection 
Association and the Congressional Fire Services Institute, and 
I would like to thank Chairman Wu and the Science and 
Technology Committee staff, especially Meghan Housewright and 
Mike Quear, for their hard work, and I would ask unanimous 
consent for my complete statement to be put in the record, and 
I yield back the rest of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Mitchell follows:]
         Prepared Statement of Representative Harry E. Mitchell
    Thank you Mr. Chairman.
    Firefighters are often the first--and the last--to leave an 
emergency scene. Whether it's putting out a house fire or a wildfire--
or responding to a terrorist attack or a car accident--we depend on 
firefighters every day.
    But firefighters also depend on us. They depend on the public and 
their elected officials to make sure that they have the resources, the 
equipment and the training they need to do their job. Without those 
tools, we put them and all of us at unnecessary risk.
    The provisions in this bill reflect the needs of the front-line 
stakeholders who protect us and our constituents from fires.
    Through testimony from fire service representatives this July, the 
Subcommittee learned that changes to matching requirements would enable 
fire departments with the greatest need to take advantage of the 
programs.
    Therefore, the bill sets the matching requirement for the 
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, from 20 percent to 10 
percent, with fire departments serving populations under 20,000 paying 
a five percent match. This greatly benefits rural and less urban areas.
    H.R. 3791 also modifies the snatching requirements for the SAFER 
program. Per the recommendations of fire service organizations, 
reflecting the hardships faced by our State and local governments, 
SAFER will require instead a 20 percent match each year for three 
years.
    Again on the recommendations of fire service organizations, the 
bill also gives the Administrator the authority, to waive the matching 
requirements for both programs in cases of exceptional economic 
hardship.
    Such waivers may also be given for the programs' budget maintenance 
requirements and SAFER provisions that restrict the funding to hiring 
only additional firefighters, rather than retaining current 
firefighters. This is a necessary step at a time when fire departments 
in many areas of the country are confronted with the prospect of 
laying-off firefighters.
    The bill also changes the SAFER program to reflect the variations 
in first-year firefighter salaries across the country, via eliminating 
an artificial cap.
    Additionally, H.R. 3791 increases the maximum size of the AFG award 
a fire department may be eligible for, depending on the size of the 
population the fire department serves.
    This change addresses two issues raised at the Subcommittee's July 
hearing. First, it allows towns and cities of all sizes to apply for 
funding proportional to the size of their needs. Second, it allows 
areas that have consolidated multiple fire departments under one single 
jurisdiction to be eligible for an amount of money that reflects the 
true size of their departments.
    This legislation also makes changes to the AFG program so it can 
assist all types of communities, from large cities to small towns. 
Currently, less than 20 percent of the funding goes to career fire 
departments that serve our most populated areas.
    To ensure a more equitable distribution of the funding, the bill 
requires the funds be apportioned such that 25 percent would go to 
career fire departments, 25 percent would go to combination fire 
departments, and 25 percent would go to volunteer fire departments.
    Ten percent would remain for open competition among all types of 
fire departments.
    The final 15 percent of the funding serves three other important 
functions:

          Up to three percent may be used by fire service 
        training academies for equipment and firefighting apparatus.

          Two percent of the funding will be used for EMS 
        activities for volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue 
        organizations.

          And, ten percent of the funding will used for the 
        Fire Prevention and Safety grants, the maximum amount for each 
        grant shall be $1.5 million. These grants may be used for 
        activities that help reduce the number of fire related deaths 
        and injuries among the. general public and among fire fighters, 
        including fire education and prevention and fire safety 
        research.

    This bill is the result of consensus among the fire service 
organizations, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, 
the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Fire 
Protection Association, and the Congressional Fire Services Institute.
    I would like to thank Chairman Wu and the Science and Technology 
Committee staff, especially Meghan Housewright and Mike Quear, for 
their hard work.
    I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Wu. I thank the gentleman.
    Does anyone else wish to be recognized If not, I ask 
unanimous consent that the bill is considered as read and open 
to amendment at any point and that the Members proceed with the 
amendments in the order of the roster. Without objection, so 
ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute offered by the Chair.
    The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 207, amendment in the nature of 
a substitute to H.R. 3791, offered by Mr. Wu of Oregon.
    Chairman Wu. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the 
reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize myself for five minutes to explain the 
amendment. The amendment simply changes the form of the bill 
from a series of annotations, or cut-and-bite amendments, to 
the Fire Prevention Control Act of 1974 so that it reads much 
more smoothly and understandably as Sections 33 and 34 of that 
Act reflecting all the changes that were made to the Act in 
H.R. 3791.
    A couple of other things. In addition, this amendment adds 
a provision authorizing the Administrator to establish 
University Fire Safety Research Centers from the ten percent 
set aside of funding for the Fire Prevention Safety Grants. The 
Administrator may establish up to three of these centers. And 
finally, it adds language to require the U.S. Fire 
Administration to work with the National Fire Protection 
Association on a needs assessment for the fire service and 
report back to Congress on the results of that needs 
assessment.
    Is there any further discussion of the amendment? If not, 
we will move on to specific amendments.
    The second amendment on the roster is an amendment offered 
by the gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith, are you 
ready to proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Smith. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Wu. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 210, amendment to the amendment 
in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 3791, Fire Grants 
Reauthorization Act of 2009, offered by Mr. Smith of Nebraska.
    Chairman Wu. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the 
reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentleman from Nebraska for five minutes to 
explain the amendment.
    Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment is intended to ensure a greater degree of 
confidence in the Fire Prevention and Safety portion of the AFG 
[Assistance to Firefighter Grant] program. The amendment would 
require non-fire department organizations which do not engage 
in fire-related activities as a primary function to partner 
with local fire departments in order to be eligible. This 
partnering would allow local departments to so-called bless an 
applicant with its plan without adding an unreasonable burden 
and in doing so ensure a greater degree of confidence the 
proposal is worthy of funding.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Adrian Smith
    This amendment is intended to ensure a greater degree of confidence 
in the Fire Prevention and Safety portion of the AFG program.
    This amendment would require non-fire department organizations 
which do not engage in fire-related activities as a primary function to 
partner with local fire departments in order to be eligible. This 
partnering would allow local departments to ``bless'' an applicant and 
its plan without adding an unreasonable burden, and in doing so ensure 
a greater degree of confidence the proposal is worthy of funding.

    Chairman Wu. I thank the gentleman for the amendment. It is 
my intention to support it because I believe that it is a good 
idea to add the expertise of a fire department to any nonprofit 
organization that wants to do fire prevention and safety work. 
I do ask that the gentleman be open to working with me to 
ensure that the language does not have any unintended 
consequences for organizations like the Lions Club, the 
American Red Cross or others that are undoubtedly doing good 
work.
    Mr. Smith. Sure. Absolutely. I think it is important to 
note that all along the way but certainly the affiliation with 
the fire department I think certainly adds credibility to the 
entire thing.
    Chairman Wu. Thank you very much.
    Is there any other discussion of this amendment? If not, 
the vote occurs on the amendment. All those in favor, say 
``aye.'' Those opposed, say ``no.'' In the opinion of the Chair 
the ayes have it and is agreed to.
    The third amendment on the roster is an amendment offered 
by the gentleman from Nebraska, and Mr. Smith, are you ready to 
proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Smith. I have an amendment, yes.
    Chairman Wu. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 209, amendment to the amendment 
in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 3791, Fire Grants 
Authorization Act of 2009, offered by Mr. Smith of Nebraska.
    Chairman Wu. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the 
reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentleman for five minutes to explain his 
amendment.
    Mr. Smith. Or less. Thank you.
    This amendment adds language to the bill to clarify as FEMA 
reviews and considers applications under the AFG program, it 
must consider a broad range of factors related to a fire 
department's ability to respond to hazards. It is intended to 
complement language in the base bill stating departments 
protecting larger populations and running higher call volumes 
receive priority. It is important to clarify this consideration 
be accompanied by consideration of other factors as well such 
as a department's geographic response area, hazard 
vulnerability or financial situation. These are all factors 
which significantly impact a fire department's capabilities and 
therefore should remain part of the peer review and award 
process. Let me certainly emphasize, this addition is not 
intended to make any changes to the AFG program but rather 
would codify existing practice.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
         The prepared statement of Representative Adrian Smith
    This amendment adds language to the bill to clarify as FEMA reviews 
and considers applications under the AFG program, it must consider a 
broad range of factors related to a fire department's ability to 
respond to hazards.
    It is intended to complement language in the base bill stating 
departments protecting larger populations and running higher call 
volumes receive priority.
    It is important to clarify this consideration be accompanied by 
consideration of other factors as well--such as a department's 
geographic response area, hazard vulnerability, or financial situation. 
These are all factors which significantly impact a fire department's 
capabilities, and therefore should remain part of the peer review and 
award process.
    Let me re-emphasize: this addition is not intended to make any 
changes to the AFG program but rather would codify existing practice.
    Additional Comments

          I also want to express my concern with the funding 
        trends associated with these programs.

          In 2004, the AFG program was funded at $750 million, 
        just below its authorized level. The next year it suffered a 
        $100 million cut, followed by a $90 million cut the following 
        year. This has continued, and this year the Administration's 
        request was $360 million, or almost 50 percent, lower than the 
        2004 funding for AFG.

          While we would rather not think the AFG and SAFER 
        programs compete against each other for limited funds, it is 
        essentially a reality, as the cuts which have occurred to AFG 
        have been replaced by increases to SAFER on an almost one-to-
        one basis.

          This trend is particularly bothersome given the fact 
        AFG awards go for equipment and training at all types of 
        departments--rural and urban and large and small--while SAFER 
        awards are overwhelmingly for departments in urban and suburban 
        areas.

          I had originally intended to offer an amendment 
        expressing the ``Sense of Congress'' that this steady decline 
        in AFG funding relative to SAFER should be halted in the event 
        that these programs are not fully funded at their authorized 
        level.

          In working with Mr. Wu, I have agreed not to offer 
        the amendment but I would like to continue working with you to 
        ensure that the AFG program does not see its budget eroded at 
        the expense of SAFER.

    Chairman Wu. Mr. Smith, I thank you for that explanation, 
and it is my intention to accept this amendment. I would note 
that the fire service has always been very active in developing 
this grant guidance with the U.S. Fire Administration. This 
amendment does not change that. They continue to be active in 
this role.
    Is there any other discussion of this amendment? Yes, Mr. 
Lujan.
    Mr. Lujan. Mr. Chairman, just quickly, I very much 
appreciate Mr. Smith offering this amendment and really looking 
after some of the rural areas as well to make sure that we are 
all inclusive and that we are looking to see how we can improve 
fire service across the entire country as well. So I very much 
appreciate it, and thank you for your being supportive, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Wu. Thank you very much, Mr. Lujan.
    Anyone else wish to speak on this amendment? If not, the 
vote occurs on the amendment. All those in favor, please say 
``aye.'' Those opposed, say ``no.'' In the opinion of the 
Chair, the ayes have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    Are there any other amendments to the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute? If not, the vote occurs on the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended.
    Mr. Smith. Well, Mr. Chairman, if we have time--no, I am 
just teasing.
    Chairman Wu. Apparently we have all the time in the world 
because we have--we just have all the time in the world. We 
always do.
    If no, the vote occurs on the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute as amended. All in favor, say ``aye.'' Those 
opposed, say ``no.'' In the opinion of the Chair, the ayes have 
it and the amendment is agreed to.
    The vote is now on the bill, H.R. 3791 as amended. All 
those in favor will say ``aye.'' All those opposed will say 
``no.'' In the opinion of the Chair, the ayes have it. The ayes 
have it and the bill is agreed to.
    I recognize myself to offer a motion. I move that the 
Subcommittee favorably report H.R. 3791 as amended to the Full 
Committee. Furthermore, I move that staff be instructed to 
prepare the Subcommittee report and make necessary technical 
and conforming change to the bill in accordance with the 
recommendations of the Subcommittee.
    The question is on the motion to report the bill favorably. 
Those in favor of the motion will signify by saying ``aye.'' 
Those opposed, ``no.'' In the opinion of the Chair, the ayes 
have it and the bill is favorably reported.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the table. Members will have two subsequent calendar days in 
which to submit supplemental Minority or additional views on 
the measure. I want to thank all the Members for their hard 
work, their cooperation in bringing this to the Subcommittee 
and in moving this expeditiously to the Full Committee, and we 
look forward to Floor passage of this important piece of 
legislation, and this concludes our Subcommittee markup, and it 
would be wonderful if all markups were this cooperative and 
relatively quick, and I thank everyone for their cooperation. 
Thank you very much. This markup is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 2:17 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


        H.R. 3791, Section-by-Section Analysis, Amendment Roster






                     Section-by-Section Analysis of
         H.R. 3791, the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009

Sec. 2

    Amendment to Sec. 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act 
of 1974

Assistance Program
    AUTHORITY: Allows the Director to make grants on a competitive 
basis to local fire departments and state fire training academies to 
protect against fire and fire-related hazards; to provide assistance 
for fire and fire prevention programs; and to provide assistance to 
volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations.
    USES: Allows the Director to make grants available for a variety of 
purposes related to fire fighting and fire safety, including equipment 
and training.
    FIRE PREVENTION AND SAFETY: Sets aside 10 percent of the 
appropriated funds for fire prevention and safety grants. Such grants 
may go to local fire departments or other organizations for fire 
prevention programs, as well as research on fire safety and firefighter 
health and safety. Such grants may not be above $1,500,000.
    APPLICATION: Fire departments or other organizations seeking grants 
must submit applications that contain information on the financial need 
of the applicant, the cost-to-benefit ratio of the intended purchase, 
an agreement to participate in the national fire data collection 
system, and a list of other sources of federal funding received by the 
applicant.
    MATCHING REQUIREMENT: Fire departments must match 10 percent of any 
federal funds received. Fire departments serving jurisdictions with 
fewer than 20,000 people, the matching requirement is five percent. 
There is no matching requirement for the Fire Prevention and Safety 
Grants.
    MAINTAINANCE OF EXPENDITURES: Grants may be awarded only if the 
applicant agrees to maintain its budget for the uses for which they are 
applying for the grant at, or above, 80 percent of its average for the 
previous two fiscal years.
    ECONOMIC HARDSHIP WAIVER: The Director may waive the matching 
requirement and the maintenance of expenditure requirement in cases of 
economic hardship. The Director shall develop the criteria for the 
waivers in consultation with fire service organizations and 
organizations representing State and local governments. The criteria 
for the waivers will be made publicly available.
    VARIETY OF FIRE DEPARTMENT GRANT RECIPIENTS: The grants shall be 
made to fire departments as follows (if enough qualified applicant 
apply in each category):

         25 percent to career fire departments;

         25 percent to combination fire departments;

         25 percent to volunteer fire departments;

    Any remainder not otherwise designated under this bill shall be 
open for competition among all fire types of departments. The Director 
shall prioritize those applications from departments representing areas 
of high population and receiving a high call-volume.
    REPORT TO THE DIRECTOR: Applicants must report to the Director how 
the assistance was used.
    GRANT LIMITATIONS: The maximum allowable grant size a fire 
department is eligible for will depend on the size of the population 
that department serves, as follows:

         A population of 100,000 or less may receive up to $1,000,000

         A population of 100,000 to 500,000 may receive up to 
        $2,000,000

         A population of 500,000 to 1,000,000 may receive up to 
        $3,000,000

         A population of 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 may receive up to 
        $6,000,000

         A population of 2,500,000 or more may receive up to 
        $9,000,000.

    Not more than 25 percent of the total appropriation may be used to 
purchase firefighting vehicles.
    State fire training academies are eligible for no more than three 
percent of the total appropriation. Grants to State fire training 
academies shall be no more than $1,000,000.
    Not less than two percent of the funds appropriated shall go to 
volunteer, non-fire service EMS and rescue organizations.
    ALASKA NATIVE VILLAGES: Allows Alaska Native Villages to be 
eligible for grants made under this Act.
    ANNUAL MEETING: Requires the Director to convene an annual meeting 
of fire service organizations to recommend criteria for awarding grants 
the following fiscal year.
    GUIDELINES: Requires the Director to make the grant criteria 
publicly available.
    PEER-REVIEW: Requires that the grants be subjected to a peer-review 
process.
    APPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT: Exempts the annual 
meeting and the peer-review process from the requirements of the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act.
    ACCOUNTING DETERMINATION: Requires that, for the purposes of 
receiving assistance under this Act, equipment costs encompass all 
components of the cost, including design and assembly (if not 
commercially available).
    AUDITS: Requires that grant recipients under the Act submit to 
audits.
    UNIVERSITY FIRE SAFETY RESEARCH CENTERS: Authorizes the Director to 
make grants to institutions of higher education to establish and 
operate no more than three university fire safety research centers. The 
grants are to be used for R&D; to reduce fire-related death and injuries 
among the general public and firefighters. The Director must also 
convene a workshop of fire safety experts to discuss research needs. 
The grant awards for fire safety research centers shall be made from 
the 10 percent allocated to the Fire Safety and Prevention program.
    DEFINITIONS: Definitions provided for Career Fire Department; 
Combination Fire Departments; Director; Firefighting Personnel; 
Institution of Higher Education; Volunteer, Non-fire Service EMS and 
Rescue Organization; and Volunteer Fire Department.
    AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS: Authorizes appropriations of 
$1,000,000 from 2010 to 2014, of which not more than three percent may 
be used for program administration purposes by the Director.

Sec. 3.

Amendments to Section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act 
                    of 1974.

    EXPANDED AUTHORITY TO MAKE HIRING GRANTS: Directs the Director to 
make competitive grants to career, volunteer, and combination fire 
departments to increase the number of firefighters to a level that 
enables 24-hour staffing of fire departments. The grants will be used 
to hire new, additional firefighters and will run for three years. The 
use of grant funds to hire firefighters in any jurisdiction may not 
exceed 80 percent of the total costs of hiring firefighters.
    RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION: Requires that at least 10 percent of the 
total appropriations must be used to recruit and retain volunteer 
firefighters at volunteer or combination fire departments and 
organizations that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters.
    APPLICATIONS: Requires that, at a minimum, applications must detail 
why the fire department needs federal assistance, how it plans to meet 
the three year retention requirement, and how it will allow the 
firefighters to volunteer in their off-time. The applications must also 
explain how the fire department will work to recruit and hire more 
minority groups and women, as well as how it will retain newly hired 
firefighters past the conclusion of the three-year grant.
    LIMITATIONS ON USE OF FUNDS: Requires that the grant funds should 
represent an increase of, and not supplant, funds provided by State and 
local governments, or the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also requires that 
municipalities and other recipients maintain their budgets for fire-
related and emergency response programs at or above 80 percent of their 
previous three year average.
    WAIVER: Allows the Director to waive the following requirements for 
recipients facing economic hardship: the three year retention 
requirement of new firefighters hired with grant funds; the maintenance 
of expenditure requirement; and the ``supplement versus supplant'' 
requirement.
    PERFORMANCE EVALUATION: Allows the Director to request any 
information considered necessary from grant recipients.
    SUNSET; REPORTS: The Director's authority to make grants ends 10 
years after the date of enactment; and, not later than six years after 
the date of enactment, the Director shall submit a report on the 
effectiveness of the grants and any recommendations for future 
provisions.
    REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF FUNDING: Allows the Director to revoke 
or suspend any portion of a grant if a recipient does not comply with 
all of the requirements at any time.
    ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Allows the Director to audit any grant 
recipient and provides access to any needed documents in carrying out 
the audit.
    DEFINITIONS: Defines: Director; firefighter; and Indian tribe.
    AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS: Authorizes $1,194,000,000 per year 
for FY 2010 through FY 2014 for Section 3.

Sec. 4. Study & Report

    STUDY AND REPORT IN ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS GRANT PROGRAM: 
Directs the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire 
Protection Association to conduct a study defining the roles and 
activities of fire services; the equipment, staffing, and training 
needed to carry out these roles and activities; the gaps in existing 
resources required to meet these roles; and the impact of grants. 
Authorizes $300,000 per year for FY 2010 and FY 2011 to conduct the 
study.





 XXIV. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP ON H.R. 3791, THE FIRE 
                   GRANTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2009

                  House of Representatives,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:18 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bart Gordon 
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Gordon. Good morning. The Committee will come to 
order.
    Pursuant to notice, the Committee on Science and Technology 
meets to consider the following measures: H.R. 3791, the Fire 
Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009, and H.R. 3820, the Natural 
Hazards Risk Reduction Act of 2009.
    As I just noted today, the Committee will consider two 
important bills. Both of these bills address pressing national 
needs, and both are the product of bipartisan cooperation and 
stakeholder input.
    The first bill the Committee will consider today is H.R. 
3791. This bill reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters 
Grant [AFG] Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and 
Emergency Response [SAFER] Program. Over the past nine years, 
these programs have provided over $5 billion to purchase 
firefighting equipment and training for communities and to hire 
additional firefighters. The federal support is even more 
important in this tough economy as local officials struggle to 
provide services in the face of decreasing budgets.
    H.R. 3791 is the product of much hard work by the 
International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International 
Association of Fire Fighters, the National Volunteer Fire 
Council and the National Fire Protection Association, as well 
as the Congressional Fire Services Institute. It represents the 
consensus of these organizations on how these programs should 
be improved. I am pleased that the bill has been endorsed by so 
many of these groups, and I look forward to working with them 
as we move to get this bill enacted.
    The second bill the Committee will consider today, H.R. 
3820, reauthorizes two important programs that support 
research, development and technology transfer activities to 
mitigate against the potential damage caused by earthquakes and 
severe windstorms. The impact of natural hazards on communities 
can be devastating. In the past two years in my district in 
Middle Tennessee, tornadoes have killed 24 people and injured 
over 100. Making households, businesses, and communities 
resistant to these forces of nature can save lives and billions 
of dollars.
    H.R. 3820 reauthorizes the National Earthquake Hazards 
Reduction Program and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction 
Program. The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, 
known as NEHRP, has been responsible for development of a 
variety of codes and standards to enable buildings and other 
infrastructures to withstand earthquakes. This reauthorization 
addresses some of the biggest challenges in earthquake 
mitigation: developing methods to retrofit existing structures, 
secure infrastructure, and, most importantly, convince people 
in earthquake-prone areas to invest in preparedness and 
mitigation measures.
    H.R. 3820 also reauthorizes the National Windstorm Impact 
Reduction Program. The goal of this reauthorization is to 
enable this program, created in 2004, to achieve the same 
success. Support for R&D; for wind hazard mitigation has lagged 
behind that for other hazards. The activities authorized in 
this bill can lead to improved building practices that will 
protect life, and contain the ever-increasing costs of 
hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe windstorms.
    At a Technology and Innovation Subcommittee hearing this 
June, witnesses testified that much of the challenge in natural 
disaster mitigation was not in more research, but in 
implementing the knowledge that already exists. This bill 
includes a strong focus on the lessons learned from the 
different natural hazards and encourages implementation of 
those lessons.
    I strongly support both of these bills and I would urge a 
yes vote.
    I now recognize Mr. Hall to present his opening remarks.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Gordon follows:]
               Prepared Statement of Chairman Bart Gordon
    The Committee on Science and Technology meets to consider the 
following measures: H.R. 3791, the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 
2009, and H.R. 3820, the Natural Hazards Risk Reduction Act of 2009.
    Both of these bills address pressing national needs, and both are 
the product of bipartisan cooperation and stakeholder input.
    The first bill the Committee will consider today is H.R. 3791. This 
bill reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the 
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program. Over the 
past nine years, these programs have provided over $5 billion to 
purchase firefighting equipment and training for communities and to 
hire additional firefighters. The federal support is even more 
important in this tough economy as local officials struggle to provide 
services in the face of decreasing budgets.
    H.R. 3791 is the product of much hard work by the International 
Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire 
Fighters, the National Volunteer Fire Council and the National Fire 
Protection Association, as well as the Congressional Fire Services 
Institute. It represents the consensus of these organizations on how 
these programs should be improved. I am pleased that the bill has been 
endorsed by so many of these groups, and I look forward to working with 
them as we move to get this bill enacted.
    The second bill the Committee will consider today, H.R. 3820, 
reauthorizes two important programs that support research, development 
and technology transfer activities to mitigate against the potential 
damage caused by earthquakes and severe windstorms. The impact of 
natural hazards on communities can be devastating. In the past two 
years in my district in Middle Tennessee, tornadoes have killed 24 
people and injured over 100. Making households, businesses, and 
communities resistant to these forces of nature can save lives and 
billions of dollars.
    H.R. 3820 reauthorizes the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction 
Program and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program. The 
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, known as NEHRP, has been 
responsible for development of a variety of codes and standards to 
enable buildings and other infrastructures to withstand earthquakes. 
This reauthorization addresses some of the biggest challenges in 
earthquake mitigation: developing methods to retrofit existing 
structures, secure infrastructure, and, most importantly, convince 
people in earthquake-prone areas to invest in preparedness and 
mitigation measures.
    H.R. 3820 also reauthorizes the National Windstorm Impact Reduction 
Program. The goal of this reauthorization is to enable this program, 
created in 2004, to achieve the same success. Support for R&D; for wind 
hazard mitigation has lagged behind that for other hazards. The 
activities authorized in this bill can lead to improved building 
practices that will protect life, and contain the ever-increasing costs 
of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe windstorms.
    At a Technology and Innovation Subcommittee hearing this June, 
witnesses testified that much of the challenge in natural disaster 
mitigation was not in more research, but in implementing the knowledge 
that already exists. This bill includes a strong focus on the lessons 
learned from the different natural hazards and encourages 
implementation of those lessons.
    I strongly support both of these bills and I would urge a yes vote.
    I now recognize Mr. Hall to present his opening remarks.

    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I appreciate this 
markup, especially the very bipartisan spirit in which the 
bills before us today have been handled, so I can be brief.
    We are here of course to consider two bills that 
reauthorize four important programs that have been created by 
the Committee over the years. The common thread among these 
programs is leveraging federal resources to reduce our 
vulnerability to hazards, principally earthquakes, windstorms 
and fires. The first bill before us, H.R. 3820, makes modest 
changes to improve coordination among federal agencies 
responsible for earthquake and windstorm research and hazard 
mitigation. The second bill, H.R. 3791, reauthorizes the Fire 
Grants Program which I know have provided critical support to a 
lot of departments including in my district, and I am going to 
note my strong support for both of these bills and express my 
appreciation to Chairman Gordon and to his staff for working 
with our us and with outside stakeholders to get the details 
right on both of the bills. I look forward to the discussion of 
the proposed amendments and working with our colleagues to see 
these bills through the rest of the legislative process.
    I thank you, and I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
    Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for scheduling this 
markup and for the bipartisan spirit in which the bills before us today 
have been handled. I'll be brief.
    We are here to consider two bills that reauthorize four important 
programs that have been created by this committee over the years. The 
common thread among these programs is leveraging federal resources to 
reduce our vulnerability to hazards--primarily earthquakes, windstorms, 
and fires.
    The first bill before us, H.R. 3820, makes modest changes to 
improve coordination among Federal agencies responsible for earthquake 
and windstorm research and hazard mitigation. The second bill, H.R. 
3791, reauthorizes the ``Fire Grants programs,'' which I know have 
provided critical support to fire departments in my district.
    I want to note my strong support for both of these bills, and 
express my appreciation to Chairman Gordon and his staff for working 
with us and with outside stakeholders to get the details right on both 
of these bills. I look forward to discussion on the proposed amendments 
and to working with our colleagues to see these bills through the rest 
of the legislative process. I yield back.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall. And Members may place 
statements in the record at this point.
    We will now consider H.R. 3791, the Fire Grants 
Reauthorization Act of 2009, and I recognize the gentleman from 
Arizona, Mr. Mitchell, to describe the bill.
    Mr. Mitchell. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Gordon. Would you like to describe the bill, Mr. 
Mitchell?
    Mr. Mitchell. Yes. This amendment is in the nature of a 
substitute amendment. It makes some minor technical changes to 
the version of House Bill 3791 that was reported out of 
Subcommittee this last week. This amendment adds to the Fire 
Safety Research Centers provisions----
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Mitchell, I think you have a very good 
amendment there but we are going to start with the bill, so if 
you would like to make comments concerning the bill, that is 
where we will get started.
    Mr. Mitchell. Thank you. You know, firefighters are often 
the first and the last to leave an emergency scene. Whether it 
is putting out a house fire or a wildfire, responding to a 
terrorist attack or a car accident, we depend on firefighters 
every day. But firefighters are also dependent on us. They 
depend on the public and their elected officials to make sure 
that they have the resources, equipment and the training they 
need to do their job. Without those tools, we put them and all 
of us at unnecessary risk. The provisions in this bill reflect 
the needs of the front-line stakeholders who protect us and our 
constituents from fires.
    Through testimony from fire service representatives this 
July, the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee learned that 
changes to matching requirements would enable fire departments 
with the greatest need to take advantage of the programs. 
Therefore, the bill sets the matching requirements for the 
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program from 20 percent to 10 
percent with fire departments serving populations under 20,000 
paying a five percent match, which greatly benefits rural and 
less-urban areas.
    H.R. 3791 also modifies the matching requirements for the 
SAFER Program. Through recommendations of the fire service 
organizations reflecting the hardships faced by our State and 
local governments, SAFER will require instead a 20 percent 
match each year for three years. Again on the recommendation of 
the fire service organizations, the bill also gives the 
Administrator the authority to waive the matching requirements 
for both programs in cases of exceptional economic hardship. 
Such waivers may also be given for the program's budget 
maintenance requirements and SAFER provisions that restrict the 
funding to hiring only additional firefighters rather than 
retaining career firefighters. This is a necessary step at a 
time when fire departments in many areas of the country are 
confronted with the prospect of laying off firefighters. This 
bill is the result of a consensus among the fire service 
organizations including the International Association of Fire 
Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the 
National Fire Protection Association and the Congressional Fire 
Services Institute.
    H.R. 3791 passed the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee 
unanimously last week, and I urge my colleagues to support this 
important measure.
    I would like to take a moment to thank Chairman Gordon, 
Chairman Wu and the Committee staff for their hard work, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Mitchell, and let me also 
put a special thanks in to Mr. Wu for his tireless effort in 
negotiating and bringing this bill together, so thank you, Mr. 
Wu.
    And I will now recognize Mr. Hall to present any remarks on 
the bill.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I thank you.
    The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the 
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, both of 
these bills provide much needed assistance to fire departments 
across the Nation, and I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for 
working closely with us and especially with our Ranking Member 
Smith to develop this very agreeable compromise. I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent that the--oh, 
excuse me. Does anyone else wish to be recognized? If not, I 
ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as read and 
open to amendment at any point and that the Members proceed 
with the amendments in order of the roster. Without objection, 
so ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute offered by the gentleman from Arizona, 
Mr. Mitchell. Are you ready to proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Mitchell. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 217, Manager's Amendment to 
H.R. 3791, as amended, offered by Mr. Mitchell of Arizona.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentleman for five minutes to explain the 
amendment.
    Mr. Mitchell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment in the nature of a substitute makes some 
minor and technical changes to the version of H.R. 3791 that 
was reported out of Subcommittee last week. This amendment adds 
to the Fire Safety Research Centers provision in subsection (c) 
of Section 33, language to include national fire service and 
fire safety organizations as eligible applicants for center 
funding. It also adds a provision giving special consideration 
for the funding to partnerships between universities and 
national fire service or fire safety organizations. Including 
fire safety and fire service organizations brings to this 
center the expertise of organizations that are closest to the 
needs of firefighters.
    In addition, this amendment clarifies that only one fire 
training academy per state should be able to receive funding 
under the Assistance to Firefighter Grant funds set aside for 
fire service training academies each fiscal year.
    And finally, the amendment gives the Director the authority 
to waive the requirement that any training purchased with Fire 
Grants funding meet or surpass national voluntary consensus 
standards for such training. The Director already has this 
authority in guiding the applications to purchase equipment. 
This language affords the program the same flexibility for 
training grants, and I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion on the 
amendment?
    Mr. Bilbray. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. I hear you but I don't see you. Oh, Mr. 
Bilbray is recognized.
    Mr. Bilbray. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I don't--won't oppose the amendment. I just 
want to point out, though, that there is a concern in my 
constituency in two factors. First of all, when you talk about 
state by state, it may seem very simple, but when you talk 
about the fact that the 500,000 people in Wyoming will have the 
ability to have one training facility within that state but the 
32 million people in California may have where those 
firefighters in San Diego have to travel almost 1,000 miles up 
to Shasta to address those things. And I just want to sensitize 
that there is a whole difference here and that what may seem 
simple on the face is much more technical.
    The other issue, San Diego County is ranked, when we talk 
about rural or urban, is ranked as an urban county because 
there is three million people in that county, larger than 20 
states of the union, but 80 percent of the land mass is rural 
area, but it is counted as urban because of its large 
population. I just want to say that as we draw these arbitrary 
lines, many times they don't fall into the proper place, and I 
understand that. I won't oppose the legislation. But I wanted 
to sensitize the Committee to the fact that many of these 
arbitrary lines which may look good in your district or your 
state sometimes look absolutely ridiculous. And I know there 
are things we do in California that look absolutely ridiculous 
to a lot of people in this country but the fact is, the fact of 
having a country with two Carolinas, two Dakotas and two 
Virginias but only one California can also look rather bizarre. 
But I just wanted to recognize that there are concerns I had 
with this underlying bill but I support the amendment and will 
support the underlying bill, and I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Bilbray.
    Anyone else wish to make a comment? If not, the second 
amendment on the roster is an amendment offered by the 
gentlelady from Texas, Ms. Johnson. Are you ready to proceed 
with your amendment?
    Ms. Johnson. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment 088, amendment to the Manager's 
Amendment to H.R. 3791, offered by Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of 
Texas.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentlelady for five minutes to explain the 
amendment.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, 
for considering my amendment.
    The amendment accomplishes two objectives. First, it 
clarifies Section 2 of the bill dealing with the Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant Program reauthorization. The Section 
outlines the uses of the fire department grant funds, and one 
of those uses is to establish wellness and fitness programs for 
firefighting personnel to ensure that they can carry out their 
duties. My amendment would add that those wellness programs may 
include activities dedicated to raising awareness of and 
prevention of job-related mental health issues. The language is 
simple in order to avoid possible Committee jurisdictional 
problems. As a former chief psychiatric nurse, which has helped 
me a great deal at the VA in Dallas, I know very well that 
mental and physical health go hand-in-hand, and firefighting is 
an intense profession and these individuals jump into burning 
buildings. They see people dying. They personally observe and 
endure trauma as a routine part of their jobs. It seems to me 
that mental wellness is even more critical or as critical as 
physical fitness. My amendment would clarify that programs 
dedicating to protecting the mental health of our nation's 
firefighters is an appropriate use of the fire department's 
grant funds.
    The second portion of the amendment is regarding Fire 
Safety Research Centers. As you know, the bill authorizes 
grants to establish no more than three of these centers. 
Research at the centers is intended to advance the Nation's 
ability to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and 
injuries among firefighter. The institutional grants will 
authorize research, development and technology transfer 
activities, and subsection (c) of this part of the bill states 
that the Director shall give special consideration to grant 
application consisting of a partnership between a university 
and a national fire service organization or as a national fire 
safety organization, and my amendment would revise this section 
to encourage partnerships also with minority-serving 
institutions.
    This section would instead state that special consideration 
would be given to partnerships between a national fire service 
organization or a national fire safety organization with a 
university and/or a minority-serving institution. We want to be 
sure to work with the fire organizations so that the research 
centers are doing work that will in a short time actually help 
firefighters do their jobs better. At the same time, we want to 
give the minority-serving institutions a realistic change to 
participate in the research. You may know that the majority of 
students at minority-service institutions study at smaller two-
year institutions. Those students could come to the larger 
universities to engage in research on fire safety and gain some 
important career experience. Undergraduate research experience 
is key to gaining admission to a graduate degree program. So 
the more we encourage partnerships with the minority-serving 
institutions of these activities, the more diverse the 
workforce we cultivate for fire safety research. To me, this 
creates a win-win situation.
    Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, I appreciate your 
consideration of this amendment and I encourage my colleagues 
to support it, and I yield back the balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
       Prepared Statement of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member for considering my 
amendment.
    The amendment accomplishes two objectives.
    First, it clarifies Section 2 of the bill, dealing with the, 
``Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization.''
    That section outlines the uses of the fire department grant funds.
    One of those uses is to ``establish wellness and fitness programs 
for firefighting personnel to ensure that they can carry out their 
duties.''
    My amendment would add that those wellness programs may include 
activities dedicated to raising awareness of, and prevention of, job-
related mental health issues.
    The language is simple, in order to avoid possible Committee 
jurisdictional problems.
    As the former chief psychiatric nurse at the V.A. in Dallas, I know 
very well that mental and physical health go hand-in-hand.
    Firefighting is an intense profession. These individuals jump into 
burning buildings. They see people dying.
    They personally observe and endure trauma as a routine part of 
their jobs.
    It seems to me that the mental wellness is even more critical--or 
as critical--as the physical fitness.
    My amendment would clarify that programs dedicated to protecting 
the mental health of our nation's firefighters is an appropriate use of 
fire department grant funds.
    The second portion of the amendment is regarding the Fire Safety 
Research Centers.
    As you know, the bill authorizes grants to establish no more than 
three of these centers.
    Research at the centers is intended to advance the Nation's ability 
to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries among 
firefighters.
    The institutional grants will authorize research, development, and 
technology transfer activities.
    Subsection 6 of this part of the bill states that the Director 
shall give special consideration to grant applications consisting of a 
partnership between a university and a national fire service 
organization or a national fire safety organization.
    My amendment would revise this section to encourage partnership 
with Minority Serving Institutions.
    The section would instead say that special consideration would be 
given to partnerships between a national fire service organization or a 
national fire safety organization with a university and/or a minority 
serving institution.
    We want to be sure to work with the fire organizations so that the 
research centers are doing work that will, in short time, actually help 
firefighters do their jobs even better.
    At the same time, we want to give the minority serving institutions 
a realistic chance to participate in the research.
    You may know that the majority of students at MSIs study at 
smaller, two-year institutions.
    Those students could come to the larger universities to engage in 
research on fire safety and gain some important career experience.
    Undergraduate research experience is key to getting admission into 
a graduate degree program.
    So the more we encourage partnerships with MSIs in these 
activities, the more diverse the workforce we cultivate for fire safety 
research.
    To me, this creates a win-win situation.
    Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, I appreciate your considering this 
amendment.
    I encourage my colleagues to support it and yield back the balance 
of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Ms. Johnson.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Hall is recognized.
    Mr. Hall. I also thank Ms. Johnson for her input, and this 
amendment, cries out, I think the value of having someone like 
her on this committee with her background, her knowledge, 
personal knowledge that brings out or spawns amendments like 
this. I understand that she is looking to clarify the fire 
departments if they might include prevention of mental health 
issues as well as eligible activity under the program and that 
the minority-serving institutions might receive special 
consideration under FEMA's fire safety research program. I 
certainly support the amendment and I thank Ms. Johnson for 
lending her history, her background, her medical background, 
her long tenure as a very valuable nurse to amendments like 
this. It is very helpful. I support it.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
    I would like to thank my friend and colleague, Ms. Johnson, for 
offering this amendment. I understand she is looking to clarify that 
fire departments may include prevention of mental health issues as an 
eligible activity under this program, and that minority-serving 
institutions may receive special consideration under FEMA's fire safety 
research program. I have no objections to this amendment and am 
prepared to support it.

    Ms. Johnson. Thank you.
    Chairman Gordon. That is a strong statement, Ms. Johnson.
    Does anyone else wish to be heard? If not, the vote occurs 
on the amendment. All in favor, say aye. Opposed, no. The ayes 
have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    The third amendment on the roster is an amendment offered 
by the gentleman from Georgia, Dr. Broun. Are you ready to 
proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Broun. Mr. Chairman, I would like to withdraw amendment 
213 and proceed directly with amendment 212, the amendment that 
is at the desk.
    Chairman Gordon. Okay. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment 212, amendment to the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute to H.R. 3791 offered by Mr. Broun of 
Georgia.
    Chairman Gordon. Pardon me. Did you say--just to make sure 
we are on the same page. You said 212?
    The Clerk. Yes.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Broun, is that where you want to be?
    Mr. Broun. Yes.
    Chairman Gordon. Okay. Thank you. I ask unanimous consent 
to dispense with the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentleman for five minutes to explain the 
amendment.
    Mr. Broun. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment is very simple. Some weeks ago, the House 
overwhelmingly voted to prohibit ACORN from receiving any money 
in the Continuing Resolution with overwhelming support from 
both Democrats as well as Republicans. My amendment today would 
ensure that ACORN will not receive any money from FEMA under 
the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program after the C.R. 
expires.
    On September 4, FEMA ordered a $1 million fire prevention 
and SAFER grant to ACORN. Given the recent events surrounding 
this organization, not to mention its past history of 
corruption, I find this inexcusable. This organization's 
expertise in fire prevention safety, which is required by law, 
is a prerequisite for the grant. Certainly, this is very, very 
questionable. Any money ACORN receives from this program takes 
away from reputable and qualified organizations like fire 
departments and ultimately sacrifices the core mission of this 
program.
    On October 8, Representative Adrian Smith and I sent a 
letter to the Director of FEMA asking for documents and answers 
about this award and the process that led to its issuance. I 
have yet to receive the first document, not one single one. 
Without that confidence that, number one, this grant was 
awarded appropriately, number two, that this recipient had 
sufficient expertise, and three, that FEMA has developed 
adequate criteria to define that expertise, I believe it is 
prudent to ensure that ACORN does not receive a single dime of 
the taxpayers' money from this program. This program is far too 
important overextended to be lining the coffers of a corrupt 
organization. Because FEMA has been less than responsive to my 
inquiry, I hope that my Majority colleagues will join our 
request to help expedite a response from FEMA.
    With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back, and I encourage all 
of my colleagues, Democrat and Republican alike, to support 
this amendment. It is a common sense, very simple amendment and 
it just follows the vote that we had overwhelmingly in Congress 
on the C.R. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Broun follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Paul C. Broun
    Thank you Mr. Chairman. This amendment is very simple. Several 
weeks ago, the House voted to prohibit ACORN from receiving any money 
in the Continuing Resolution (CR).
    My amendment today would ensure that ACORN will not receive any 
money from FEMA under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program 
after the CR expires.
    On September 4th, FEMA awarded a one million dollar Fire Prevention 
and Safety Grant to ACORN. Given the recent events surrounding this 
organization (not to mention its past history of corruption) I find 
this inexcusable.
    This organization's ``expertise in Fire Prevention and Safety''--
which is required by law as a pre-requisite for the grant--is certainly 
questionable. Any money ACORN receives from this program takes away 
from reputable and qualified organizations like Fire Departments and 
ultimately sacrifices the core mission of this program.
    On October 8th, Representative Adrian Smith and I sent a letter to 
the Director of FEMA asking for documents and answers about this award 
and the process that led to its issuance. I have yet to receive a 
single document.
    Without the confidence that 1) this grant was awarded 
appropriately, 2) that this recipient had sufficient expertise, and 3) 
that FEMA has developed adequate criteria to define that expertise, I 
believe it is prudent to ensure that ACORN does not receive a single 
dime of the taxpayer's money from this program.
    This program is far too important and overextended to be lining the 
coffers of corrupt organizations.
    Because FEMA has been less than responsive to my inquiry, I hope 
that my majority colleagues will join our request to help expedite a 
response from FEMA.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Broun.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment? Ms. Woolsey 
is recognized.
    Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Well, as far as ACORN is considered and every other 
individual or organization in this country, the United States 
of America, which is a democracy, we are all considered 
innocent until proven guilty. That is the very cornerstone of 
our American judicial system. It is not our role as the 
Congress to judge the innocence or guilt of ACORN. In fact, the 
Constitution prohibits Congress from passing any legislation 
that punishes an individual before they have been convicted of 
a crime, and that is why I ask every Member of this committee 
to oppose the Broun amendment.
    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion on the 
amendment?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Hall is recognized.
    Mr. Hall. I support the gentleman's amendment and I think 
we are pretty well aware of the problems with ACORN and its 
stewardship of taxpayers' dollars. I don't know how anybody 
could support that when the original person that spawned ACORN 
from day one over in the State of Arkansas, the activities of 
those people are disgusting to Democrats and Republicans alike. 
When his own brother stole $1 million and nothing happened to 
him and just moved him around rather than going to the courts 
with it, that is just--that is the closest indication of the 
leadership of ACORN and that goes down to every single person 
that benefited from ACORN or that supported ACORN. We are all 
aware of the problems with ACORN, its stewardship of taxpayers' 
dollars. We found out a couple of weeks ago that ACORN received 
a fire prevention and SAFER grant under the same portion of 
this program that hundreds of fire departments had applied for 
but were rejected, and these are the people Ms. Johnson and I 
are talking about that we are trying to support, trying to help 
and trying to make aid to them easily available to minorities 
have been shut out prior to work of Members of Congress like 
Eddie Bernice Johnson. Mr. Broun and Mr. Smith wrote to FEMA 
requesting information on how this happened but they still 
haven't received a response. So we have an opportunity here 
today I think to fix a problem or work toward fixing a problem 
and ensure that this doesn't happen again.
    The language in Dr. Broun's amendment is nearly exact to 
what was overwhelmingly supported by the Full House in the C.R. 
I believe the Senate overwhelmingly supported it. I am not 
positive about that but that is my recollection. I urge passage 
of the amendment, and I thank the gentleman for offering it. 
Yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. The Chairman recognizes himself. Dr. 
Broun, I think the amendment that was accepted by Mr. Smith in 
Subcommittee takes care of your problem. However, as you and 
Mr. Hall both pointed out, I think the House spoke to this 
issue in a firm way earlier and so I am sure that you will be 
successful here in this amendment here today also.
    Mr. Broun. Mr. Chairman, will you yield?
    Chairman Gordon. Yes.
    Mr. Broun. I thank you, sir, for yielding, and I hope we do 
prevail on the vote on this amendment. To answer Ms. Woolsey, 
this is not calling them guilty of anything. This is preserving 
money for firefighters and taking it away from a small grant 
program. It is not punitive in any way. It doesn't indict or 
convict anybody in any way and it is just preserving money for 
firefighters and things that this grant program is supposed to 
be directed towards, and I think it is extremely important, and 
frankly, as far as I am concerned, FEMA went outside the law 
when they granted ACORN the grant to begin with back in 
September. ACORN has no expertise in firefighting. And so this 
is a very simple amendment. It is one that doesn't punish 
anybody. It doesn't convict anybody or any organization. It 
just says that they will not receive funds from this grant as 
we have already seen them get from the grant that was awarded 
by FEMA.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your yielding.
    Chairman Gordon. Ms. Fudge is recognized.
    Ms. Fudge. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I really just have a question, Mr. Chairman. I can 
understand--agree or disagree with the whole ACORN issue but in 
the language it indicates that allied organizations would not 
receive any money. I am not sure--I would like an example of 
who an allied organization would be.
    Mr. Broun. Would you yield?
    Ms. Fudge. Yes.
    Mr. Broun. ACORN, if you look at it, they have a tremendous 
web of allied organizations that are very difficult to sort 
down through but it is any allied organization that is part of 
the ACORN group that they have as their tentacles of the 
organization. It is just very convoluted. They have many sub-
organizations. And this wouldn't--it wouldn't prevent grants 
from anybody else but it is just those allied organizations, 
and I hope any reputable organizations sever their ties to 
ACORN. So if they haven't, they should immediately because of 
the corruption that is coming to surface with this----
    Ms. Fudge. Reclaiming my time if I may.
    Mr. Broun. Yes, ma'am.
    Ms. Fudge. But since we don't know who these allied 
organizations you are referring to are, it gives me cause and 
pause because there are very certain many reputable 
organizations who are in fact aligned in some way with ACORN, 
and I may agree with you that maybe they should, maybe they 
shouldn't, but if they have not in some way distanced 
themselves from ACORN, I can't see that organizations that do 
good work who have been productive and who should probably 
qualify for these would be left out because we put in language 
that is very, very subjective and we don't even know--you 
admitted yourself, we don't know who those organizations are. 
You say it is such a web. If I don't know who they are, I can't 
vote against them receiving dollars.
    Mr. Broun. Would the gentlelady yield?
    Ms. Fudge. Yes.
    Mr. Broun. We do know that ACORN has at least 361 
affiliates in their web and in this tremendous organization 
that just----
    Ms. Fudge. If I may, I am not talking about affiliates. I 
am talking about----
    Mr. Broun. Well, I know, and affiliated organizations so it 
does not prevent any group that is not affiliated or part of 
ACORN from getting the funds, but they should be--any 
organization under this grant program under current law should 
have the expertise, and certainly ACORN doesn't have that 
either. I find it is despicable to me that FEMA ordered the 
grant to begin with, but----
    Ms. Fudge. Reclaiming my time. I am not arguing the ACORN 
point. I am arguing the language ``allied organizations,'' 
which to this point you have not told me who those would be or 
an example of who would be an allied organization.
    Mr. Hall. Would the gentlelady yield?
    Ms. Fudge. Yes.
    Mr. Hall. I understand your opposition and your problem 
with it. It is the same language that passed in the C.R. and 
the way to amend that and the way to take care of it is in 
report language, and I think you will have a shot at that some 
time later.
    Ms. Fudge. Thank you. I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. Is anyone else to my--Mr. Bilbray is 
recognized.
    Mr. Bilbray. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your consideration 
on this item, and I think we are talking about the credibility 
of the program. The fact is that the concept that somehow there 
is a constitutional right for access to taxpayers' funds I 
think is something that a lot of people across the country are 
upset with. There is not a constitutional right to have access 
to funds that we forcibly remove from private possession, that 
citizens give up this under the force of law, and when we start 
doling it out we have a responsibility that goes far beyond 
what is traditionally considered in the criminal courts, and 
that is the fact that there is not a right but a privilege to 
receive public funds under our Constitution and with that 
privilege comes added responsibilities that private individuals 
normally don't bear, and the organizations that access well, 
public and private organizations that access the public 
treasury have a responsibility beyond those that are just 
asking to operate outside of public funding. So I just think we 
need to clarify that, and I appreciate your support on this 
because I think that this is where we need to clarify that 
look, there is this added obligation, and when in doubt we are 
going to be conservative in the application of the public funds 
by saying we want this clarified, and I just think that we need 
to clarify that this is not a partisan issue. What is happening 
in Nevada is actually something that has been totally handled 
by your party in a very responsible manner where actually the 
head of the organization has gone state's witness on this 
issue. So I think we have got to point out that this is not a 
Democrat or a Republican issue, it is an American issue, the 
fact that this standard of access for public funds is one that 
is higher than the general public and this continues.
    So I again ask for support of it and recognize that when we 
talk about this affiliated issue, the board of directors 
actually serve on different boards but the same people are on 
the boards and the same directors are on different agencies and 
so this has been very well documented and will become obviously 
more public as it goes over, so I just ask everybody take a 
look at what is going on in Las Vegas right now and understand 
this is something we need to address and we should do it 
bipartisan, and that is why I appreciate----
    Chairman Gordon. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Bilbray. Go ahead, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. It is my understanding that there has been 
some staff discussion about some clarification and so that 
there will be mutually agreeable report language that will help 
to fine-tune any, you know, concerns in that regard there might 
be. And I yield back. Thank you.
    Mr. Bilbray. And I think all of us agree that there is a 
problem here identified right now with one name but we know it 
is a shell game here where there is so many people playing the 
same game, the same people under different titles, and the 
intention of this amendment is to make sure that the shell game 
isn't played with American taxpayers' funds.
    I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Lujan is recognized.
    Mr. Lujan. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I heard the distinguished Ranking Member say 
that this amendment is nearly exact of the language that was 
adopted on the House Floor, and I would yield to Mr. Broun if 
you could tell me how it differs from what was introduced--what 
was adopted in the C.R. on the House Floor.
    Mr. Broun. The difference is, this is prospective instead 
of retrospective, and other than that, it's essentially the 
same. It is what many, many, most Democrats voted for, I think. 
I didn't look at the total vote but it is what Republicans and 
Democrats, both parties voted to prohibit ACORN from getting 
funds, and this is just prospective so that in the future on 
this grant program ACORN cannot get any of these grants. It is 
focused at this program whereas the C.R. was a broader 
amendment also.
    Mr. Lujan. And reclaiming my time. Does the language that 
was adopted on the House Floor in the C.R. contain the language 
``or allied organizations''? And I would yield to Mr. Broun.
    Mr. Broun. I am sorry. State that again, please.
    Mr. Lujan. Does the language that was adopted on the C.R. 
contain the language ``or allied organizations''?
    Mr. Broun. In fact, if the gentleman would yield----
    Mr. Lujan. Yes.
    Mr. Broun. Okay. This is the C.R. language verbatim. ``None 
of the funds made available by this Joint Resolution and any 
prior act may be provided to the Association of Community 
Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN, or any of its affiliates, 
subsidiaries or allied organizations.'' That is the language, 
and I yield back.
    Mr. Lujan. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I yield back 
my time.
    Mr. Bartlett. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Dr. Bartlett is recognized.
    Mr. Bartlett. You know, when you made the sale, it is 
probably wise to stop selling it. I would like to move the 
question.
    Chairman Gordon. Dr. Bartlett once again brings wisdom to 
the--is there no further discussion?
    Ms. Edwards. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Ms. Edwards is recognized.
    Ms. Edwards. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am actually taking a look right now at what passed on the 
House Floor, and there are definitions but there is no 
definition for ``allied organization.'' It is actually not even 
in the language of what was passed in the House, and I think it 
is a very dangerous road that we go down where we include a de-
funding mechanism that states that it is attached to an allied 
organization so does that mean that if an organization serves 
in a coalition in a state or community with an ACORN group or 
one of its affiliates that it would be an allied organization? 
This is a very dangerous road to go down. It is not what we 
actually passed on the House Floor and I would say I didn't 
vote for that, but I think it is not really useful for this 
committee to include language that requires further definition 
and explanation that no doubt will lead to further--to 
litigation. I mean, it seems that if I were an organization 
that was associated in any way, in a coalition, in an informal 
working group could be defined as or identified as an allied 
organization, I would challenge this statute and the language 
of it applying to me for the purposes of achieving federal 
funds. I would also say that there are current prohibitions in 
law that go to issues around debarment when there has been a 
criminal violation or other kind of sanction that enables 
anyone of our federal agencies to deny funds under current law. 
And so it is actually the truth that this is totally 
unnecessary, and we have plenty of examples of corporations in 
this country and nonprofit organizations that have engaged in 
wrongdoing, have been found to engage in wrongdoing and 
prohibited from engaging in other contracting. We also have 
plenty of examples where that has been true and they have 
gotten other contracts and so I am really not sure what this 
amendment is trying to get to with respect to one single 
organization because I don't want to see federal funds misused 
by anyone under any circumstances whether it is ACORN or any 
other group but let us have a finding in law that there has 
been a violation and then let the current statutes that exist 
that prohibit giving contracts and funding to organizations, 
institutions and corporations that have committed wrongdoing 
and apply that law. I think this is complete redundancy with 
respect to one single organization and I don't even believe 
that what we are doing, especially with respect to so-called 
allied organizations, even achieves the result that we are 
looking for except capturing in the widest possible way in a 
net that has no boundaries, organizations and institutions that 
may be perfectly--operating perfectly legally and legitimately 
under the terms of their agreements receiving federal funds. 
And so I think it is a really dangerous road to go down and I 
don't understand frankly why this committee has to engage in 
this kind of way with respect to a single organization when we 
should be saying that no organization that is engaged in 
wrongdoing or a corporation that is engaged in wrongdoing 
should be receiving further federal funds.
    Chairman Gordon. Would the gentlelady yield?
    Ms. Edwards. I do. Thank you.
    Chairman Gordon. I think you raised many very valid points. 
There is going to be an effort, an agreed-upon effort through 
report language to try to clean up some of your concerns. I 
just want to be sure that you were aware of that, and I yield 
back.
    Ms. Edwards. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and let me close by 
saying, Mr. Chairman, that I think that we have a lot of really 
important business to do on this committee and in this Congress 
and I would not put this at the top of the stack of the really 
important work of the American people. Thank you.
    Mr. Lujan. Mr. Chairman, would the gentlelady yield?
    Ms. Edwards. I yield.
    Mr. Lujan. Mr. Chairman, the one thing that I just noticed 
though is that the language that was adopted in the C.R. says 
ACORN-related affiliate as opposed to allied organization. It 
doesn't appear, Mr. Chairman, that the language is verbatim and 
I just again would urge the question as to how that differs, 
Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much. I thank the gentlelady for 
yielding.
    Ms. Edwards. Thank you. You are absolutely correct. The 
definitions in the measure that we are talking about has a 
definition for covered organizations and affiliated 
organizations, not allied organizations. There is actually no 
such term in that measure.
    Chairman Gordon. Does anyone else wish to be recognized?
    Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Dr. Ehlers.
    Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I am feeling a bit 
left out of this. Even though I don't have anything to add, at 
least I haven't had a chance to say it yet. But I am just 
astounded at this discussion. I recall some years ago before I 
was in the Congress when we had a situation where the Pentagon 
paid $200 for a hammer, they paid $500 for a toilet seat. No 
one questioned whether they were guilty. No one questioned 
whether they were convicted. Congress just went bonkers and 
punished them by withholding funds. That is what we are doing 
here. We are not convicting, we are not flinging with a broad 
brush. It is simply an organization that has behaved 
improperly. The Congress took action against them in a generic 
way and now we are just simply saying look, they shouldn't be 
getting any of this money to train firefighters, there are many 
other organizations that can probably do it better and 
certainly have a better record of honesty. So I don't see why 
individuals are taking up the cause for the so-called allied 
organizations. That will quickly get sorted out if there are 
qualified organizations that somehow are labeled allied. These 
things are easy to straighten out. But I don't see how in any 
way you can defend the actions of ACORN and say or any allied 
organizations. Let us get with it and recognize fraud when you 
see it and let us act accordingly. We would do that with any 
organization that was here that was misusing federal funds. We 
have a firm, solid line, a nonpartisan line of saying we are 
not going to provide funds to any organizations that are going 
to misuse those funds, and that is all we are about here. Let 
us not make it into something that it isn't.
    Mr. Broun. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Ehlers. I would be pleased to yield to the author of 
the amendment.
    Mr. Broun. I thank you, Dr. Ehlers, for yielding.
    Removing the language or changing it about the allied 
organizations would basically gut my amendment and give a huge 
loophole for ACORN to gain money through shell organizations 
that we all know that ACORN has already employed, and back to 
what Dr. Ehlers was just saying, we are talking about, if ACORN 
gets these grants, it is going to take money away from the 
firefighters. When we come to a vote on this, a vote against my 
amendment is voting against firefighters and for ACORN, and it 
is one that I am not sure that is in the best interest of 
anybody to do so. But it is absolutely critical that we put the 
money where it is supposed to be and that is with firefighting, 
with the firefighters and not with organizations like ACORN, 
and Dr. Ehlers made a great point. This is about being 
responsible with taxpayers' money. We already see that ACORN is 
under tremendous amounts of investigation and we already know 
of embezzlement and other things going on with this 
organization, but this is not punitive. It is just denying them 
funds with this one grant program, and it is just a common 
sense, simple amendment, and I encourage people to--all 
Members, Democrats, Republicans alike, to support this 
amendment and I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Wu is recognized.
    Mr. Wu. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to recognize the concerns of my Democratic 
colleagues about, in their words, convicting an organization 
before there has been a conviction elsewhere. But I just want 
to point out for the benefit of all my friends that in the 
words of Oliver Wendell Holmes more than, oh, about a century 
ago, in a case involving a Boston policeman that you have a 
right to do that but you don't have a right to be a Boston 
policeman. So there might be a different standard when one is 
talking about federal funding and the allocation of federal 
funds.
    The flip side of this is, it is also my recollection that 
in a series of Supreme Court cases in the 1950s or 1960s the 
Court was very careful to not involve organizations in loose 
terminology, and it seems to me that if we have defined terms 
for controlled affiliates that using an undefined term is 
legally imprecise and it is a matter of policy unwise. So the 
gentleman who offered the amendment with whom I have worked on 
a number of other issues in our subcommittee, I was just 
wondering if the gentleman would be amenable on a consent basis 
to a slight tweaking of his language to make it a little bit 
more precise and to consider those organizations legally 
controlled by ACORN, and I believe that that is a term that 
should cover all of his legitimate concerns, and I yield to the 
gentleman for his response.
    Mr. Broun. Well, I thank the gentleman for yielding. No, I 
won't be accepting that suggestion----
    Mr. Wu. Reclaiming my time. I would like to understand the 
basis of that rejection because this seems to address all of 
his legitimate concerns, and I yield to the gentleman.
    Mr. Broun. Thank you. Well, I just want to remind the 
gentleman that you did vote for this very----
    Mr. Wu. Reclaiming my time. Of course I did. I voted for a 
common sense amendment that was precisely drawn, and I am 
trying to offer the gentleman the same opportunity to make his 
amendment more careful, and I yield to the gentleman.
    Mr. Broun. I will work with the--if this amendment does 
pass, as the Chairman has already stated, our side and your 
side will work together to make--to tighten up the language but 
I will just leave the amendment as it stands.
    Chairman Gordon. If there is no further discussion----
    Mr. Wu. Reclaiming my time. I will depend on the gentleman 
and the good graces of the Chairman to make this language more 
analytically correct and reflect the will of the Committee and 
of the House. And I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. If there is no further discussion, then 
the vote is on the----
    Mr. Grayson. Sir, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Grayson is recognized.
    Mr. Grayson. Thank you. I would like to ask the gentleman 
from Georgia a few questions, and I will yield to him for the 
purpose of having answers to these questions. Does the 
gentleman from Georgia know what a bill of attainder is?
    Mr. Broun. A bill of--the answer is yes. In fact, it has 
been very explicitly described by the courts.
    Mr. Grayson. What is it?
    Mr. Broun. The courts have applied a two-prong test, number 
one, whether specific individuals or entities are affected by 
the statute, and number two, whether the legislation effects a, 
quote, punishment, unquote, on those individuals. It serves no 
regulatory purpose.
    Mr. Grayson. What does the Constitution say about bills of 
attainder?
    Mr. Broun. I suggest that this is not a bill of attainder. 
It certainly does focus upon a specific entity but it does not 
inflict punishment by any means. In fact----
    Mr. Grayson. Will the gentleman from Georgia explain what 
the Constitution says about bills of attainder?
    Mr. Bilbray. Mr. Chairman. Will the gentleman yield for a 
second, the gentleman from Florida?
    Mr. Grayson. No, I would like an answer to my question.
    Mr. Bilbray. Well, frankly I can't wait to see the 
discussion when it comes to----
    Mr. Grayson. I did not yield, and I would like an answer 
from the gentleman from Georgia.
    Chairman Gordon. If we could, let us get back. The time is 
the gentleman from Florida, who has yielded to the gentleman 
from Georgia.
    Mr. Grayson. Right. What does the Constitution say about 
bills of attainder? It is a simple question.
    Mr. Broun. The Constitution says that Congress shall pass 
no bills of attainder, but this is not one.
    Mr. Grayson. All right. Now, would you agree with me that 
it is unconstitutional to single out one or more persons 
without the benefit of trial?
    Mr. Broun. No, sir, there is a two-prong test, and this is 
not a bill of attainder so----
    Mr. Grayson. Well, when I said--I will reclaim my time. I 
just quoted William Rehnquist writing the book, the Supreme 
Court. He wrote that book and said you cannot single out one or 
more persons without the benefit of trial. Will the gentleman 
agree that bills of attainder are contrary to every principal 
of sound legislation?
    Mr. Broun. There are too many criteria which courts would 
likely look in order to determine whether legislation is a bill 
of attainder. One is whether a specific individual entity is 
affected by the statute; number two, whether the legislation 
effects a punishment on those individuals and----
    Mr. Grayson. Will the gentleman please tell me whether you 
agree or not that bills of attainder are contrary to every 
principal of sound legislation?
    Mr. Broun. Bills of attainder are unconstitutional.
    Mr. Grayson. And contrary to every principal of sound 
legislation. Is that correct?
    Mr. Broun. That is correct.
    Mr. Grayson. All right. And you know who said that?
    Mr. Broun. Tell me.
    Mr. Grayson. James Madison in the Federalist Papers. Now, 
does the gentleman agree that the bill of attainder clause was 
intended not as a narrow or technical provision but rather as 
an implementation of a separation of powers and a general 
safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function 
or, more simply, trial by legislature. Will the gentleman agree 
with me about that?
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Grayson. No.
    Mr. Broun. Would the gentleman restate the question?
    Mr. Grayson. The question is, will the gentleman from 
Georgia agree with me that the bill of attainder clause was 
intended not as a narrow or technical provision but as an 
implementation of separation of powers, a general safeguard 
against legislative exercise of the judicial function, or more 
simply, trial by legislature? Will the gentleman agree to that?
    Mr. Broun. No, sir, I will not, and I asked counsel to help 
us with this, and I think all this is a determination of the 
court and I would like to yield to Mr. Sensenbrenner.
    Mr. Grayson. Well, I am sorry, but it is my time, not yours 
or Mr. Sensenbrenner's, so I will reclaim my time and I will 
point out that what you just said you would not agree to is 
from a Supreme Court case called United States v. Brown, 
something I would expect you might know about, given your name. 
Listen----
    Mr. Broun. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Grayson. No. Listen, we are trampling on people's 
constitutional rights, and I think it is unfortunate that the 
mania that exists on the other side of the aisle regarding this 
organization, and we know why that mania exists. It is because 
they have registered an awful lot of Democrats, continues to 
distort and waste the time of this committee and many other 
committees here in Congress. Enough is enough. I yield my 
remaining five seconds.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Grayson. My time is expired.
    Chairman Gordon. The gentleman's time is expired but Mr. 
Sensenbrenner can claim his own time.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Mr. Chairman, I would move to strike the 
last word.
    Chairman Gordon. The gentleman is recognized for five 
minutes.
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Mr. Chairman, as former Chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee, we have dealt with questions of bills of 
attainder quite a bit, and I noticed that earlier this year 
there was such a bill of attainder passed called the AIG tax or 
more properly to impose an additional tax on bonuses received 
from certain TARP recipients. The bill passed the House of 
Representatives. Even the President of the United States, who 
used to be a law professor, as I recall, referred to this as a 
bill of attainder, and I noticed that the gentleman from 
Florida voted ``aye.'' So I guess we have different bills of 
attainder. Some are good and some are bad.
    Mr. Grayson. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. They all are unconstitutional. Of course 
I am happy to yield, unlike you.
    Mr. Grayson. Well, sir, I would point out that unlike you, 
I did not vote for the war in Iraq on the basis of weapons of 
mass destruction that didn't exist or make any of the other 
mistakes that you might have made over----
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. I will reclaim my time and I will just 
say that the whole business of the gentleman from Florida's 
debate shows how irrelevant it is to the question of whether we 
are going to make a priority determination on whether to give 
federal funds to ACORN or federal funds to firefighters, and 
Mr. Broun of Georgia----
    Mr. Grayson. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. I would like to finish my sentence, 
please. Mr. Broun of Georgia, I think, has stated that this is 
a question of where we spend scarce federal dollars. Now, a 
bill of attainder has always been taking away property that 
already belongs to somebody such as imposing a confiscatory and 
punitive tax rather than saying that an organization and its 
affiliates are not going to get any funds in the future. Now, 
Mr. Broun's amendment does say that ACORN and its affiliates 
are not getting any funds in the future. We are not taking away 
the funds that they already have, even though that might have 
been a mistake for Congress to appropriate it. We are just 
saying enough is enough, no more funds for ACORN and its 
affiliates and let us spend the funds on the firefighters. So 
that is why this amendment is not a bill of attainder. It is 
good policy and we all want to vote for it, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
    Chairman Gordon. The Chairman has the authority to call a 
previous question at any time. He has never done that and 
doesn't want to do it because I want us to have full, open 
conversations here, but as Dr. Ehlers pointed out several 
minutes ago, I think everything has been said, just everyone 
hasn't said it, and so----
    Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Chairman, I will move the previous 
question.
    Chairman Gordon. Well, if there no further discussion, then 
that won't be necessary. I think Ms. Johnson had a question.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you very much. Strike the last word.
    Mr. Chairman, I am getting more and more confused. The part 
that I heard about ACORN, weren't there some locations and not 
all of the country that they were guilty of anything? Can 
someone--my point here is that we are punishing the entire 
organization for something that perhaps two or three people 
might have done and they haven't proven they have done but 
might have done in a particular location. Are you saying that 
every ACORN chapter is guilty of the same?
    Mr. Broun. I assume the gentlelady is asking a question 
here. This is not a punishment. It just says that ACORN will 
not get the funds in this grant program and that the 
firefighters should and would, so it is not convicting anybody, 
it is not indicting anybody. It just says that these funds will 
be utilized for firefighters and for what they need to perform 
their job and keep us safe, and so that is what it is all 
about. It is directed towards ACORN and all affiliates. It says 
what it says, and that is it.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. As I said earlier, we will continue 
efforts to perfect this language. If there is no further 
discussion, the vote is on the amendment. All in favor, say 
aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The----
    Mr. Grayson. Mr. Chairman?
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Chairman Gordon?
    Chairman Gordon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Chairman Gordon votes aye. Mr. Costello?
    Mr. Costello. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes aye. Ms. Johnson?
    Ms. Johnson. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes no. Ms. Woolsey?
    Ms. Woolsey. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Woolsey votes no. Mr. Wu?
    Mr. Wu. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Wu votes aye. Mr. Baird?
    Mr. Baird. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes no. Mr. Miller?
    Mr. Miller. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes aye. Mr. Lipinski?
    Mr. Lipinski. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lipinski votes aye. Ms. Giffords?
    Ms. Giffords. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Giffords votes aye. Ms. Edwards?
    Ms. Edwards. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Edwards votes no. Ms. Fudge?
    Ms. Fudge. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Fudge votes no. Mr. Lujan?
    Mr. Lujan. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lujan votes aye. Mr. Tonko?
    Mr. Tonko. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Tonko votes aye. Mr. Griffith?
    Mr. Griffith. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Griffith votes aye. Mr. Rothman?
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson?
    Mr. Matheson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson votes aye. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. Davis. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Davis votes aye. Mr. Chandler?
    Mr. Chandler. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chandler votes aye. Mr. Carnahan?
    Mr. Carnahan. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Carnahan votes aye. Mr. Hill?
    Mr. Hill. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hill votes aye. Mr. Mitchell?
    Mr. Mitchell. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Mitchell votes aye. Mr. Wilson?
    Mr. Wilson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Wilson votes aye. Ms. Dahlkemper?
    Ms. Dahlkemper. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Dahlkemper votes aye. Mr. Grayson?
    Mr. Grayson. Present.
    The Clerk. Mr. Grayson votes present. Ms. Kosmas?
    Ms. Kosmas. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Kosmas votes aye. Mr. Peters?
    Mr. Peters. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Peters votes aye. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes aye. Mr. Sensenbrenner?
    Mr. Sensenbrenner. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Sensenbrenner votes aye. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett?
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes aye. Mr. Ehlers?
    Mr. Ehlers. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes aye. Mr. Lucas?
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Biggert?
    Ms. Biggert. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Biggert votes aye. Mr. Akin?
    [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer?
    Mr. Neugebauer. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes aye. Mr. Inglis?
    Mr. Inglis. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Inglis votes aye. Mr. McCaul?
    Mr. McCaul. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. McCaul votes aye. Mr. Diaz-Balart?
    Mr. Diaz-Balart. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Diaz-Balart votes aye. Mr. Bilbray?
    Mr. Bilbray. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bilbray votes aye. Mr. Adrian Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Adrian Smith votes aye. Mr. Broun?
    Mr. Broun. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Broun votes aye. Mr. Olson?
    Mr. Olson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Olson votes aye.
    Chairman Gordon. How is Mr. Rohrabacher recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher is not recorded.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, I guess he should be recorded yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes.
    Chairman Gordon. And I saw Mr. Rothman somewhere. Is he 
still with us? Is there anybody else here who has not been 
recorded? Then the Clerk will report the vote.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, 33 Members vote aye, 5 Members 
vote no, and one Member votes present.



    Chairman Gordon. The amendment passes. And my understanding 
now, we are going to move to the sixth amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Smith.
    Mr. Broun. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Dr. Broun.
    Mr. Broun. I ask unanimous consent that Mr. Smith's and my 
letter to FEMA be entered into the record.
    [The information follows:]

    
    

    Chairman Gordon. Without objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Broun. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. So Mr. Smith, we will proceed with you 
having the last amendment.
    Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have 
an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment 012, amendment to the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute to H.R. 3791, offered by Mr. Smith of 
Nebraska.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentleman for five minutes to explain his 
amendment.
    Mr. Smith of Nebraska. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank 
you as to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for 
cooperation in this amendment. It is very simple. It is a sense 
of Congress emphasizing restoring funding to the Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant Programs should be a priority. The program 
is authorized in this legislation at $1 billion per year. 
However, its appropriated funding has never reached that amount 
and in fact it steadily declined in recent years, and that is 
why in 2003 $750 million was appropriated for AFG. Since this 
time, funding has steadily declined. Last year it was $565 
million and this year the Administration only requested $390 
million. This represents a 48 percent decline since fiscal year 
2003. Given the importance of AFG in helping fire departments 
around the country meet minimum response requirements, 
especially those in rural areas with limited tax bases, this 
trend is troubling and should certainly be reversed. The 
underlying reauthorization legislation attempts to do that, and 
I support it.
    This amendment adds to the bill by explicitly calling 
attention to this issue and stating that addressing this 
funding decline should be a priority. I urge Members to support 
it. Thank you. I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]

           Prepared Statement of Representative Adrian Smith

    This amendment is very simple. It is a sense of Congress 
emphasizing restoring funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
program should be a priority. The program is authorized in this 
legislation at a billion dollars per year. However, its appropriated 
funding has never reached that amount, and in fact has steadily 
declined in recent years. In FY 2003, $750 million was appropriated for 
AFG. Last year, it was $565 million, and this year the Administration 
only requested $390 million. This represents a 48 percent decline since 
FY 2003.
    Given the importance of AFG in helping fire departments around the 
country meet minimum response requirements--especially those in rural 
areas with limited tax bases--this trend is troubling, and should be 
reversed. The underlying reauthorization legislation attempts do that--
and I support it--but this amendment adds to the bill by explicitly 
calling attention to this funding decline. I urge Members to support 
it.

    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion on the 
amendment? Mr. Hall is recognized.
    Mr. Hall. Thank you. I will be very brief.
    This is simply a sense of Congress expressing 
disappointment with the declining funding for assistance to 
firefighters. I think we are all for that, and restoring this 
funding ought to be a priority. I think we all support that 
program. And I understand funding is always limited to 
competing needs but Mr. Smith is simply trying to emphasize 
that this program warrants priority attention and I think that 
is a good move. I certainly support it and I yield back, and I 
thank the Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. The record will show that Mr. Hall 
supports more funding for firefighters.
    Does anyone else wish to be recognized? If not, then the 
vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor say aye. Opposed, 
no. The ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to.
    Are there any further amendments? If not, then the vote 
occurs on the amendment in the nature of a substitute offered 
by the gentleman from Arizona as amended. All in favor, say 
aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    The vote is now on the bill, H.R. 3791 as amended. All 
those in favor, say aye. All those opposed, no. In the opinion 
of the Chair, the ayes have it.
    I recognize Mr. Tonko for a motion.
    Mr. Tonko. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee 
favorably report H.R. 3791 as amended to the House with the 
recommendation that the bill do pass. Furthermore, I move that 
staff be instructed to prepare the legislative report and make 
necessary technical and conforming changes and that the Chair 
take all necessary steps to bring the bill before the House for 
consideration.
    Chairman Gordon. The question is on the motion to report 
the bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify 
by saying aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is 
favorably reported.
    Before he gets away, Mr. Neugebauer, we welcome you back 
and glad to see you look fit, trim and ready for action.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the table. Members will have two subsequent calendar days in 
which to submit supplemental, Minority or additional views on 
the measure.
    Chairman Gordon. I want to thank all the Members for being 
here and taking part in this good markup. Thank you.
    [Whereupon, at 11:35 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]


                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


                 H.R. 3791 as amended, Amendment Roster