WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism and members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement applauding the signing by the President of the Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019, companion legislation to a bipartisan bill they both co-sponsored.
“It is critical that Congress take action to assist houses of worship as they work to increase the safety and security of all worshipers – in our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other houses of worship. Americans of all faiths should not have to live in constant fear and persecution as they join together with their congregations, communities, or church groups to pray,” said the Senators. “Over the past few years, we have seen a dangerous increase in threats and attacks on all types of houses of worship, including the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in modern American history at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This legislation will provide resources to help non-profit locations to increase their security because of the unique risks they currently face. We will continue working on bipartisan solutions to ensure that all houses of worship are safe and secure since they continue to be the targets of threats and acts of violence.”
BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019 (H.R.2476) formally authorizes in the Department of Homeland Security a Nonprofit Security Grant Program, under which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shall make grants to eligible nonprofit organizations (tax-exempt organizations and those determined to be at risk of a terrorist attack), through the state in which they are located, for target hardening and other security enhancements to protect against terrorist attacks. Senators Rosen and Lankford are both co-sponsors of identical bipartisan companion legislation, the Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations from Terrorism Act of 2019 (S.1539). This legislation passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in September 2019.