The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) commend the House Appropriations Committee for including a total of $180 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) in the FY 2022 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which was favorably reported out of committee Tuesday.
This is the same level of funding Congress appropriated for NSGP in the current fiscal year (FY 2021).
“Rising levels of antisemitism demand a strong federal response,” said Jewish Federations CEO Eric Fingerhut. "The Nonprofit Security Grant Program has been an important tool to help secure Jewish and other communities that face daily new threats to their safety and wellbeing."
We thank Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), as well as Homeland Security Subcommittee Chair Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Ranking Member Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN).
While the amount recommended is short of our goal of $360 million—a level supported by nearly 160 House members from both parties and a level recommend by the committee for FY 2021—we understand the challenges associated with the bill. The spending level for the bill was described during today’s markup as just enough to sustain current DHS programs and initiatives.
We applaud Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) for their statements during today’s markup raising concerns that the level of funding recommended for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program does not go far enough to protect faith-and community-based organizations from the threats posed by increased antisemitism, white supremacy, and hate motivated violence. We further commend them for encouraging the House Appropriations Committee in bi-partisan fashion to find a way to increase the NSGP funding level for FY 2022 at a later stage in this year’s appropriations process.
Jewish Federations have been grateful for the substantial funding increases the NSGP program has achieved with bipartisan support over the past 5 fiscal years, rising from $25 million in FY 2017 to $180 million in FY 2021. These increases came in recognition of an unprecedented time for faith- and community-based security.
Unfortunately, the scope of the threat is considerable and continues to grow.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified in May that "Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists" presented the most lethal threats among Domestic Violent Extremists. Attorney General Garland warned that the deadly consequences of domestic violent extremism included, “the burning and bombing of places of worship throughout the country, as well as other acts of hate-fueled violence that are less likely to make national news but that still terrorize entire communities.”
These concerns are not merely theoretical.
Only two weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis assessed violent extremists might seek increased opportunities for attacks this summer. Three days later, a rabbi was threatened at gun point and stabbed 9 times in an alleged hate crime outside of a Jewish day school and synagogue in Boston. This was not an isolated incident.
The public record is replete with incidents of shootings, bombings, arson, vandalism, assault, and intimidation that disrupt the vital human, social, cultural, religious, health, and other humanitarian services and practices they provide to communities, and which threaten the lives and well-being of millions of Americans who operate, utilize, live, and work in proximity to them.
In this continuing threat environment targeting faith-based and communal nonprofits, it is our hope that the House and Senate will come together later in the FY 2022 appropriations process to add additional funding to the NSGP account. JFNA will continue its leadership role advocating for such increases.