Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, plans to introduce a bill tripling funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to $540 million, he announced during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the Jewish Insider reported on Wednesday.
The announcement demonstrates increasing backing in Congress for boosting funding for NSGP from its current $180 million, even to levels beyond the $360 million amount that leading Jewish organizations have urged in recent months.
However, it is unclear how much backing the senator's proposal would have or what exactly the details would be in the legislation.
NSGP provides monetary support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which supervises the program.
NSGP is also meant to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies.
Cruz said that following the hostage standoff earlier this year at Congregation Beth Israel in the Fort Worth area that he heard from Jewish leaders a "need for more funding for security training, for security resources, for hardening infrastructure."
It is unclear, however, how much backing the senator's proposal would have in Congress or what exactly the details would be in the bill.
Last week, the House introduced a bipartisan bill that would propose $500 million annually for the program from 2023 to 2028. It is awaiting House floor consideration and would, in addition, establish a dedicated office within FEMA to provide resources, feedback and other information to potential grant applicants to NSGP.
During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, former U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr explained a multipart plan that he said would help reduce hatred against Jews.
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