Omnibus Funds Will Continue To Protect Houses Of Worship And Tax Exempt Organizations That Are Possible Targets Of Terrorists
PATERSON, NJ – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) celebrated the inclusion of a massive new funding increase for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) in the year-end Omnibus bill passed by Congress on Monday night. The legislation includes $180 million evenly split between the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP). Congress appropriated $90 for this program last year.
“Rightwing domestic terrorism is a threat to every community in America. As the extremist threat continues to grow, we must be extra vigilant to protect our houses of worship and minorities communities,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Last year’s tragic attack in Jersey City is a reminder that New Jersey is a constant target. These incidents are why I have been insistent on the need for more anti-terror support. Because of our successful efforts, we have doubled the funding available to protect our vulnerable communities. With this expansion of funds, we can have better peace of mind that we are doing everything in our power to keep them safe.”
In July, Rep. Pascrell announced more than $9.5 million in Nonprofit Security Grant Program funding for New Jersey, including $1.089 million for community centers in the Ninth Congressional District. Earlier this year, he helped lead the Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act (H.R.2476), which officially authorized the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. While the NSGP was funded through annual appropriations, most recently at $90 million for Fiscal Year 2020 as requested by Rep. Pascrell, the program had 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).
In May, Rep. Pascrell led a letter requesting the NSGP be funded at $360 million for FY 2021. The version of the homeland security appropriation that passed the House committee included that full amount. He led similar efforts last year, calling for the NSGP to be funded at $90 million for FY 2020, 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.