Pascrell Celebrates Nonprofit Security Grant Authorization
Joins House Speaker Pelosi as she sends Pascrell-championed bill protecting vulnerable non-profit facilities to White House
Washington, D.C., January 9, 2020
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today stood with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) to mark the enrollment of H.R.2476, the Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019. The bill would formally authorize the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) for four years to protect the safety of non-profits facilities at risk of terrorist attacks, including synagogues, mosques, churches, and other houses of worship.
“Staring at the rising tide of hate, it is vital that nonprofit organizations and religious institutions have the resources they need to protect themselves,” said Rep. Pascrell, a former member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “The recent anti-Semitic Chanukah rampage in Monsey, New York was the tenth anti-Semitic attack in our region in a week. Combined with the attacks in Jersey City, it was the sixteenth incident of antisemitic violence in a month. While more must be done to halt the rise of hate and extremism, formal authorization of this grant program is a crucial step. I’ve fought for years to strengthen this program for our synagogues, churches, mosques, and other houses of worship, and I look forward to its formal authorization being signed into law.”
“We applaud Representative Bill Pascrell for joining Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson in passing H.R. 2476 today and for his stalwart support of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program’s annual funding,” said Robert Goldberg, Senior Director of Legislative Affairs for the Jewish Federations of North America. “Since September 11th, nonprofits generally, and Jewish communal institutions specifically, have been the victim of an alarming number of threats and attacks from across the ideological spectrum. This bill will strengthen the ability of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to assist at-risk communities counter those threats by providing needed resources for target hardening and preparedness activities.”
The Securing American Non-Profit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019 would authorize a security grant program within the Department of Homeland Security for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack. This grant funding would assist targeted organizations with costs related to:
While NSGP was funded through annual appropriations, most recently at $90 million for Fiscal Year 2020, as requested by Rep. Pascrell, the program has never been officially authorized. Rep. Pascrell served an original cosponsor of the bipartisan measure with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS-02), and Reps. Peter King (R-NY-02), Max Rose (D-NY-11), Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), and Troy Balderson (R-OH-12). The bill passed the House by voice vote and cleared the Senate by Unanimous Consent.
Rep. Pascrell has long championed increased funding for NSGP. In December, Reps. Pascrell and Peter King (R-NY-02) led a letter calling for the NSGP to be funded at $90 million, citing “the rise of hate groups in our nation, the record of threats facing members of our community, and the FBIs continued concern about domestic violent extremism” as evidence that NSGP resources must be increased. One week after their letter, the requested funding was passed by the House. Last April, Pascrell led 139 members of Congress in support of increased NSGP funding. In August 2018, Pascrell helped secure $8.7 million in NSGP funding for New Jersey. In March 2018, Pascrell led a bipartisan letter of 106 House members calling on the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to maintain funding for the UASI Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Last February’s budget deal also provided the exact level of robust funding Pascrell and his colleagues requested. In December 2015, Pascrell helped obtain $20 million in increased funding for the NSGP. In August 2014, Pascrell secured $225,000 in Nonprofit Security Grants for Hawthorne, Englewood, and Teaneck. For Fiscal Year 2019, Rep. Pascrell helped secure more than $7.3 million in NSGP funding for New Jersey.
Rep. Pascrell has also been the leading advocate in Congress for increased federal efforts to combat domestic extremism. This week, Reps. Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) held an interfaith event with religious leaders, law enforcement, and cultural groups to highlight the need to combat hate in our communities. In November, Pascrell, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held a roundtable town hall discussion in Garfield with members of law enforcement, elected officials, and religious leaders in an effort to hold a dialogue with the public about the rise in domestic extremism. In September, Reps. Pascrell and Gottheimer met with state officials and local law enforcement for a briefing on the threat of homegrown violent extremists here in New Jersey.