2008 News Archives
IAFF Legislative Achievements Mark Session’s
Boost for SAFER
Funding Included in Year-End Mad Dash
2008 – The final days of any two-year congressional session are always chaotic,
but the need to rescue of the nation’s financial markets and the hotly contested
November elections combined to make the conclusion of the 110th Congress
Partisan Gridlock, IAFF Scores 11th Hour Legislative Victory
2008 – Despite continuing partisan wrangling ahead of the November elections,
legislation strengthening the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is on the verge of
becoming law. Both chambers of Congress have voted to pass S. 2606, the United
States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008.
Monitoring IRS Review of Retirement Eligibility Standards
2008 – IAFF Governmental Relations staff has been working with members of
Congress on both sides of the aisle to ensure that an Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) review that began in 2007 of requirements concerning the appropriate age
at which public employees may qualify for a service retirement doesn't
negatively affect public safety workers.
Apply for the 2009 Political Training Academy
September 8, 2008 – The IAFF is
now accepting applications
online for the
2009 Political Training Academy, scheduled for March 1-6, 2009, in Baltimore,
Maryland. Applications for the 2009 Political Training Academy are available
Expands Student Loan Forgiveness for Fire Fighters
August 28, 2008 – The IAFF has won a major
benefit for its members through the enactment of legislation expanding student
loan forgiveness benefits for professional fire fighters. H.R. 4137, the Higher
Education Opportunity Act, creates a new program allowing fire fighters to
receive up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness and expands Perkins loan
cancellation benefits to fire fighters.
IAFF Member Promotes Defined Benefit Plans Before Congressional Committee
July 11, 2008 – Will Pryor, a member of Los Angeles County, CA Local 1014 and
Chair of Investment at the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association,
testified July 10 on the importance of defined benefit (DB) pension plans to the
retirement security of fire fighters and all Americans in a hearing before the
Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress chaired by Senator Bob Casey
IAFF Casts Doubt on FCC Plan to Build a Nationwide Communications Network
July 11, 2008 – The IAFF has filed comments with the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) questioning their plan to build a nationwide public safety
communications network. The comments cast doubt on the ability of such a
network to address the current shortcomings in emergency communications and
question whether the network envisioned by the FCC will benefit commercial
entities at the expense of public safety.
Senate Committee Approves Presumptive Disability Benefits for
Federal Fire Fighters
June 26, 2008 – A U.S. Senate Committee voted to approve legislation granting
presumptive disability benefits to federal fire fighters who contract heart
disease, lung disease, certain cancers and certain infectious diseases.
House Committee Restores First Responder Funds
June 11, 2008 – The Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security in the U.S.
House of Representatives has unanimously approved legislation to provide
additional funding for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Services
(SAFER) and FIRE Act grant programs. As approved, the 2009 Homeland Security
Appropriations Act for 2009 includes $230 million for SAFER and $570 million for
SAFER Grant Application Period Open
June 3, 2008 – The IAFF encourages its affiliates and their fire departments to
apply for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Services (SAFER) grants. The
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began accepting applications May 27, 2008.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on
June 27, 2008.
Senator Edward Kennedy will
Overcome Latest Health Challenge
Washington, DC – International Association of Fire Fighters General President
Harold Schaitberger issued this statement today following the announcement that
U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
Collective Bargaining Bill Delayed
May 16, 2008 – After an historic 69-29 cloture vote to bring the Public Safety
Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 980/S.2123) on the floor of the U.S.
Senate for debate, presidential politics, partisanship and the Senate's arcane
procedural rules combined to temporarily stall progress on the bill that would
give every fire fighter the right to collectively bargain.
Supermajority of Senators Vote to Consider Cooperation Act
May 13, 2008 – In a remarkable show of bipartisan support for the IAFF and its
members, 69 senators voted May 13 to consider H.R. 980, the Public Safety
Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. The 69-29 vote on the motion to proceed
permits the Senate to debate and amend the bill.
to Vote on Collective Bargaining Bill
May 12, 2008 – The Public Safety
Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, the IAFF's national collective bargaining
bill (S 2123) is expected to be brought to the floor of the United States Senate
for a vote Tuesday morning May 13, 2008.
Senate Bill Strips House Provision Requiring FAA to Update Airport Standards
April 30, 2008 – The lax safety culture of the
Federal Aviation Administration extends beyond aircraft maintenance to the
outdated 20-year-old FAA standards for fire and rescue operations that
jeopardize lives in the event of an aircraft incident at an airport, the
International Association of Fire Fighters charged today.
IAFF Urges House Scrutiny of Public Safety Communications
April 15, 2008 – IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger has issued a
statement on the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the Federal
Communications Commission’s auction to create a communications network for first
House Approves IAFF Recommendations to Strengthen U.S. Fire
April 11, 2008 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 412-0 last week to
adopt legislation strengthening the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). H.R. 4847,
the United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008, included key
IAFF recommendations to expand and improve USFA’s training activities, improve
fire fighter safety and better serve the needs of the modern fire service.
Bill to Promote Fire Fighter Safety Standards Introduced in
April 9, 2008 – IAFF priority legislation to enhance fire fighter safety and
health has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. On April 2,
Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) joined with 17 original cosponsors from both
parties to introduce H.R. 5686, the Firefighter Fatality Reduction Act of 2008.
Sign Up for the New
FIREPAC Recurring Online Contribution Option!
July 3, 2007 -- The IAFF
has introduced an online contribution option for members to contribute monthly –
and automatically – to one of FIREPAC’s donor clubs. The new auto-draft program,
available now, is similar to a dues check-off program.
IAFF Wins Second
June 25, 2007 -- The
American Association of Political Consultants has recognized the IAFF once again
with the prestigious Pollie Award in the “Independent Expenditure/527
Communications” category for direct mail for “Wildfires.”
President Bush's Proposed Budget Threatens Safety
January 30, 2008 -- IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger issued this
statement February 4 on President Bush’s proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget:
“As the end of the president’s term in office mercifully draws closer, his
proposed budget is another example of his words not matching his deeds.
A Month Late, Bush Signs Defense Bill
January 30, 2008 -- After his veto delayed the implementation of
important fire fighter provisions in the fiscal year 2008 Defense Authorization
bill (H.R. 1585), including reforms to the National Security Personnel System (NSPS),
President Bush has finally signed into law a new FY 2008 Defense Authorization
bill (H.R. 4986) with all of the IAFF’s federal fire fighter provisions intact.
Bush Vetoes Defense Bill
January 2, 2008 -- In a surprise development, President Bush last week “pocket
vetoed” the FY 2008 Defense Authorization Bill (HR 1585). The president’s
refusal to sign the Defense bill will delay implementation of several provisions
important to the nation’s federal fire fighters, including the amendments to the
National Security Personnel System (NSPS).
Politics and Legislation News