The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Fire Grants and Safety Act, S. 870 during the week of April 17-21. The National Association of Counties (NACo) supports the passage of S. 870 as originally written, which would reauthorize the Assistance to Firefighters Grants and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants.
During the consideration of the bill, Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) offered an amendment that would require the U.S. Treasury Secretary to identify and transfer unobligated funds from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) to the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In summation, the amendment – Amendment 81 – would attempt to claw back “unobligated” state and local funding provided under ARPA. However, the U.S. Treasury has already obligated nearly 100 percent of the $65.1 billion to America’s counties, parishes and boroughs.
On April 19, ISACo Executive Director Joe McCoy wrote a letter (available via this link) to both Senators urging opposition to Amendment 81 in order to protect ARPA dollars dedicated to counties.