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Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is pushing a plan to boost funding to safeguard houses of worship and other nonprofits.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program should get $360 million, double its current amount, to meet demand for grants that help synagogues, mosques, churches, and other organizations improve on-site protections against terrorist attacks, hate crimes, and other violence, Schumer (D-N.Y) plans to announce Wednesday, according to spokesman Angelo Roefaro.
Schumer is the latest, and highest-ranking, lawmaker to throw support behind an annual funding increase in the wake of the hostage-taking at a Texas synagogue earlier this month. He’ll announce the push at an event with religious and community leaders in New York City.
Current annual budget proposals would keep the program’s funding flat at $180 million. Democrats’ stalled tax and spending bill (H.R. 5376) would have infused an additional $100 million.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pleaded for an increase in congressional appropriations after the Texas attack, and several lawmakers from both parties have endorsed the idea.
The current funding level left more than $220 million in nonprofits’ requests unfunded in fiscal 2021, Jewish Federations of North America and other groups told President Joe Biden in a letter Tuesday. The groups are calling on Congress to double funding for fiscal 2022, and on the White House to request that level for next year.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at email@example.com