The IAFF Government Affairs Department works with all 535 members of Congress, the Executive branch, and federal agencies to advance policies that align with the IAFF’s mission. The Governmental Affairs Department readily collaborates with any member of Congress or presidential administration that will help support fire fighters.

The IAFF proudly stands with any politician or policymaker, regardless of political party, who stands with our fire fighters.

The Government Affairs Department advances a wide range of fire fighter priorities, including:

    • Establishing collective bargaining and labor rights
    • Protecting fire fighters from PFAS, asbestos, and other toxins and carcinogens
    • Promoting fire fighters’ health and safety by expanding mental health resources, improving turnout gear, and ensuring access to routine medical screenings
    • Obtaining fair wages and reasonable working hours for active fire fighters
    • Securing retirement benefits like early retiree healthcare and eliminating the Windfall Elimination Provision
    • Achieving strong funding for fire service grant programs, including SAFER and AFG
    • Ensuring fire and life safety by promoting fire sprinklers and strong building codes
    • Supporting EMS and public health by improving reimbursements and strengthening fire-based EMS systems
    • Advocating for the IAFF’s 16th District needs, including establishing minimum staffing standards and presumptive workers’ compensation benefits.

For a look at some of our past achievements, please click here. Follow us on Twitter @IAFFLeg for updates and news on current legislation.

For more information on the services our department offers, please click here.

The heart of the IAFF’s success on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the United States is the ability of every fire fighter to make their voice heard. Our online advocacy center allows fire fighters to share their opinions directly with elected officials on issues that matter most.

Please take a few minutes to encourage your elected officials to support priorities that will keep fire fighters safe, ensure fair wages, safeguard fire fighters’ retirement, and protect the public from life-threatening emergencies.

Federal Legislation

The Legislative Issues Book contains background information on the IAFF’s priority federal legislation, including sponsor information, bill text language, and key points for our members to use when speaking with their members of Congress.

In addition to the issues highlighted below, the IAFF is actively working on various other legislative and regulatory initiatives to ensure fire fighters have safe working conditions, fair wages, and secure retirements. These issues can also be found in the legislative book.

  • Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act (Honor Act)
    The Honor Act would rightfully recognize the job-related roots of cancer for fire fighters and classify occupational cancer deaths as an LODD for the purposes of providing a PSOB award to the surviving family.
  • Protecting Firefighters and Advancing State-of-the-Art Alternatives (PFAS Alternatives) Act
    The PFAS Alternatives Act will provide an important source of funding to support research and development efforts to create safer, next-generation turnout gear.
  • Healthcare for Heroes Act
    The Healthcare for Heroes Act would provide a tax credit to public safety workers to offset the costs of obtaining health insurance and ease the transition into retirement.
  • Public Safety Free Speech Act
    The Public Safety Free Speech Act ensures first responders cannot be penalized for exercising their right to free speech about job-related concerns like staffing levels, inadequate safety equipment, poor wages and working conditions, or unreasonable administrative rules.
  • Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act
    The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act would give fire and EMS personnel basic collective bargaining rights in states that currently do not provide them and protect these rights in states where they exist but could be repealed.

Legislative Services for Our Members

The Government Affairs Department enjoys working with IAFF members to support their efforts at the state and national level to advocate for themselves and their fellow fire fighters. We have drafted legislation and regulations to address a variety of IAFF member needs, such as promoting fire fighter health and safety, expanding survivor benefits for the families of fallen fire fighters, establishing fair compensation and benefits, and asserting the right to collectively bargaining.

Our department also defends against legislative attacks on fire fighters like proposals that would erode their benefits, pay, and pensions; reduce operational safety; or provide an unfair advantage to private companies and non-organized fire and EMS agencies.

The IAFF Government Affairs Department can help IAFF affiliates with the following:

  • Provide federal vote records for members of Congress
  • Deliver updates on federal legislation and regulations
  • Research policy problems and develop legislative or regulatory solutions
  • Draft and practice witness testimony
  • Secure and facilitate meetings with members of Congress

We also offer our affiliates a variety of services at the state level. For more information available to our state affiliate leaders, please see our State President’s Portal. Some of the services we can provide:

  • Draft state legislative bills and amendments
  • Research services to combat opposing legislation
  • Track state bills and update members
  • Draft written and oral testimony
  • Practice and coach witnesses in delivering testimony
  • Help to plan when/how to introduce legislation at the state level

For assistance or help with a legislative issue, please click here.

COVID-19 Legislative Resources

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2), fire fighters secured numerous legislative victories and new benefits. Among these new benefits was an additional $300 million allocated for the SAFER and AFG grants to assist in providing overtime pay for fire and EMS personnel and obtaining new personal protective equipment, and more than $195 billion was allocated to prevent and reverse layoffs from the pandemic.

Federal fire fighters who previously had their COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims denied will have their claims reviewed under new fairer requirements that recognize their occupational exposures. More information on these grants and new resources to assist in the continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic are listed below:

How to Lobby: Tips and Best Practices

Every facet of a fire fighter’s job – from the right to collectively bargain, adequate equipment and staffing to pension benefits – is shaped by elected officials’ decisions.

Lobbying lets you tell your own story and fight for what matters to you and your members. IAFF members must be ready to fight for their own needs and to support their fellow fire fighters.

The IAFF Government Affairs Department has developed some tips and best practices to ensure you are prepared.

How to Lobby

Legislative Victories

Coming Soon! 

For updates or progress on current policies, follow us on Twitter @IAFFLeg.

If you would like more information or any assistance, please fill out this form on this page for any legislative or government affairs requests that you may have.