(JustPatriots.com)- During a recent hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Ted Cruz announced he would soon introduce a bill that would triple the funding given to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, also known as the NSGP.
The Republican senator from Texas said his bill would increase funding to the program to $540 million. Currently, the program’s funding level is $180 million. Many of the world’s leading Jewish organizations urged recently that the funding be increased to roughly $360 million, and Cruz’s plan would go well above and beyond that.
While many members of Congress have signaled they would support increasing the funding to the NSGP, it’s not clear at this point whether Cruz’s idea would generate enough support to actually pass through both chambers.
The NSGP provides financial support for physical security enhancements, target hardening and activities to various nonprofit organizations that are susceptible to a terrorist attack. The program is supervised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The NSGP also seeks to promote collaboration and coordination for emergency preparedness activities for community representatives from the private and public sectors, along with local and state government agencies.
In making his announcement, Cruz said he spoke with Jewish leaders earlier this year after the hostage standoff that happened at Congregation Beth Israel, located near Fort Worth in his home state of Texas.
He said they described a “need for more funding for security training, for security resources, for hardening infrastructure.”
While Cruz announced the overall funding level his bill would create for the NSGP, he didn’t reveal specific details about it.
It does seem likely that the program will get a major boost in funding in the near future, even if it doesn’t happen through Cruz’s proposal.
The House last week introduced a bipartisan proposal that would allocate up to $500 million on an annual basis for the NSGP. That funding level would begin in 2023 and last through 2028.
In addition to the increased funding levels, the bill would create a new, dedicated FEMA office for the program that would be tasked with providing feedback, resources and any other information that grant applicants to the program might need.
The bill hasn’t been brought to the House floor for consideration yet, but it was crafted on a bipartisan basis, which is a good place to start.
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which Cruz was speaking also featured Elan Carr as a speaker. He’s the former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.
During his speech, Carr put forth a multi-part plan he said would end up reducing hatred that’s expressed against Jewish people in the United States.
One of the hostages of the Congregation Beth Israel incident, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, also testified at the hearing. He said it’s “wonderful to have the funds available” that Cruz was talking about, but that smaller congregations like his needed help applying for the various grants.