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August 16, 2023

Rep. Aguilar: GOP Making SoCal Communities Less Safe by Cutting Federal Firefighter Pay in Half

Yesterday, Rep. Aguilar called out recent GOP efforts to cut firefighter pay in half, making Southern California communities less safe.

“Cutting federal firefighter pay is making communities in Southern California less safe. Let’s make sure we fund our federal firefighters,” said Rep. Aguilar. “A budget is a commitment to your values, we hope that House Republicans value federal wildland firefighters.”

Watch the full segment here.

In the last few years, California has endured record-breaking wildfires due to climate change. For example, the total acres burned across the United States has doubled over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service has witnessed a steady decline in new hires and an increase in firefighters who have left to higher-paying jobs. This has resulted in many stations across the country, and especially California, being short-staffed during an extraordinarily bad fire season.

Last year, Congress approved a temporary pay increase for federal firefighters through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by giving federal firefighters an additional $20,000 or fifty percent of their salary, whichever is the lower amount. This pay raise is set to expire on September 30, 2023 if it is not permanently raised in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations bill.