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$1 billion for nonprofit security grants included in Senate supplemental aid bill 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had pushed for the unprecedented funding level

Justin Merriman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Police vehicles remain posted in front of the Tree of Life Synagogue on Monday, October 29, 2018, where 11 people were killed in a mass shooting on Saturday morning.

The Senate’s supplemental aid bill for Israel and other U.S. allies will also include an unprecedented $1 billion in additional funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, an enormous jump in funding for the program that has been severely oversubscribed.

The program was funded at $305 million last year, fulfilling less than half of applications. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was the first to publicly propose the $1 billion additional appropriation for the program, well outpacing the requests to that point from other lawmakers and Jewish groups, who had been pushing for additional funding to be included in the emergency national security bill.

The Senate will take a preliminary procedural vote on the bill on Wednesday, which is expected to fail due to Republicans’ demands for sweeping border policy changes.

The funding push comes as antisemitic incidents, and threats to and attacks on Jewish institutions, have skyrocketed since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. In 2023, before the Hamas attack, the acceptance rate for the security grant program fell to 42%, with requests for $679 million in funding, with just $305 million made available.

The bill text, released Tuesday afternoon, includes $980 million for grants, with $20 million set aside for administrative and management costs for the program. It designates $200 million of the pool to remain available until Sept. 30, 2024, with the remaining $780 million available until expended. Two percent of the funding can be used to provide assistance for applications.

The bill also directs the administration to make procedural changes to allow the funds to be doled out quickly and used flexibly, as Jewish groups had requested.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement to JI that the funding is “more important than ever” and thanked Shcumer for “his steadfast leadership in fighting antisemitism,” urging Congress to “act immediately.”

Notably, the supplemental bill does not add any new conditions on U.S. aid to Israel, a major blow to the faction of progressives who had been seeking, at minimum, more specific language regarding existing regulations on U.S. foreign aid.

It does include the $10 million in additional funding for the U.S. security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority that had been sought by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The path to passing the bill remains murky, however, after Republicans stormed out of a classified briefing on Ukraine and Israel yesterday due to an ongoing dispute over border policy.

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