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Press Releases :: December 16, 2009

House Approves Jobs Package Including Funding for Fire Program, DOE Loan Guarantee Program

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act, by a vote of 217 to 212. The bill uses existing available funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and includes $500 million for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which helps fire departments hire firefighting personnel. The program currently has $420 million appropriated for FY2010. 

After 120 days, any funds not awarded for the SAFER program may be used for the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program, which provides funds to local fire departments to purchase equipment, vehicles, and training.
 
The Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 3791), which reauthorized the SAFER and AFG programs, passed the Committee on Science and Technology in October and passed the House in November by a vote of 395 to 31.
 
The Jobs for Main Street Act also includes $2 billion for the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee program.  
 
“Not only is this helping to protect firefighters’ jobs, this federal support for public safety is even more important in this tough economy as local officials struggle to provide services in the face of decreasing budgets,”said Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).  “The funding for DOE Loan Guarantee Program will help private sector companies secure financial backing to develop cutting-edge clean-energy technologies, which our nation is in desperate need of—both to meet our growing energy needs and to help bolster our national competitiveness.”
 
For more information, including on the Committee’s work on Fire Grants programs, please visit the Committee’s website.
 
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News from the House Science and Technology Committee
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