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funding goals

House Appropriations Republicans propose an additional $10 million for nonprofit security

The increase comes despite cuts to many other areas of the Department of Homeland Security, but falls short of Jewish community goals

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas.

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee proposed a $10 million increase in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program for 2024, falling short of the increase that many supporters had hoped to see.

The proposed increase, to $315 million, comes despite deep budget cut proposals across many other areas of the Department of Homeland Security. But it comes up short of the $360 million level that has been a goal of many Jewish community leaders, a large bipartisan group of lawmakers supporting the program and the Biden administration. House Appropriations Democrats had also proposed $360 million for the program last year when they controlled the chamber.

Jewish community leaders expressed gratitude for the proposed increase, but said they intend to continue pushing for additional funding as the appropriations process proceeds.

Rabbi Abba Cohen, vice president for government affairs at Agudath Israel of America, told Jewish Insider that Agudah is “pleased that the House continues to see fit to support and increase funding for this vital program.”

“But, as this is a starting point in a process, we will continue to advocate for higher funding levels that will better meet the number and need of at-risk nonprofits in the community,” Cohen said. “It is yet to be seen how the debt ceiling negotiations, the imposition of spending caps and the possibility of a continuing resolution might affect the outcome.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been supportive of the $360 million request and has been key in previous efforts to secure increases, and the Senate Appropriations Democrats also initially backed that funding target last year.

Karen Paikin Barall, the associate vice president of public affairs and executive director of the advocacy corps for the Jewish Federations of North America, told JI that JFNA is “grateful for the proposed $10 million increase… especially given the tough fiscal situation Congress is navigating this year.”

Barall also noted, however, that the program, at 2022 levels, was only able to fund around half of the applications it received, and said that JFNA will “continue to advocate” for $360 million.

Nathan Diament, executive director executive director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, called the Appropriations proposal “a key first step.”

“We look forward to continuing to work [with congressional] allies in the [appropriations] process toward the shared goal of funding NSGP to meet the demand,” he said.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said he was “encouraged” by the proposed funding increase, and said that ADL will “keep working to ensure [that] funding reaches at least $360 million, which would more adequately address the threats facing nonprofits.” ADL has recently supported $500 million for the program.

However, Greenblatt expressed concern about some of the other provisions in the bill draft, which include cutting funding to counter-misinformation programs; diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within DHS; and efforts to support underserved communities, as well as forbidding the department from partnering with nonprofits that urge private companies to moderate content.

“At a time of proliferating antisemitism, extremism, and hate, it is extremely disappointing to see bans on countering misinformation, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion programs,” he said.

The subcommittee will meet on Thursday for a markup of the bill.

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