NFFE Praises House of Representatives for Passing Legislation Extending Current Wildland Firefighter Pay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Dorsey
November 6, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) praises the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation that would extend current pay levels for federal wildland firefighters through 2024. The House approved its FY24 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill on Friday, which included an amendment from Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Josh Harder (D-CA) that maintains current funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for another year.
“This is a positive step in the right direction to avoid the looming pay cliff facing wildland firefighters,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “With government funding set to run out in less than two weeks, it is imperative that both chambers of Congress include wildland firefighter pay among their highest priorities when advancing legislation to keep the government open and operational.”
The Senate has yet to vote on its version of Interior Appropriations legislation, but current language of the bill supports the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act (WFPPA), a permanent solution to avoiding the pay cliff. NFFE is working with the Senate, the House, and the Biden administration to ensure that language protecting the IIJA pay levels is included in every continuing resolution or supplemental appropriations bill until a permanent solution is passed. At the same time, NFFE continues to work on passing the Tim Hart Act to address the larger issue of competitive pay and other critical issues facing the federal wildland firefighter workforce.
“I am encouraged that leadership in both chambers of Congress understand their critical responsibility of ensuring that wildland firefighters do not have their pay cut in the coming days,” continued Erwin. “Right now, Congress must find a way to do this before the current continuing resolution runs out on November 17. Once that hurdle is cleared, NFFE will continue pressuring lawmakers to pass the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act to permanently safeguard firefighter salaries. While there is still much work to be done, I am confident that Congress will do the right thing and support wildland firefighters on the frontlines.”