Nadler's High-Risk Non-Profits Initiative Provided $50 Million in Senate Homeland Security Approps Bill, Added to 9/11 Commission Implementation Bill

Sep 29, 2004

Washington, DC -- Representative Jerrold Nadler's (D-NY) initiative to help high-risk non-profits take security measures to defend themselves from potential terrorist attacks was awarded $50 million in the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations bill. Nadler also offered the measure as an amendment to the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

"The terrorist threat against schools, places of worship, and other 'soft targets' is very real and we have an obligation to protect them," stated Nadler. "This legislation will provide the means to help high-risk non-profits protect themselves from those who espouse hate and violence."

Nadler's legislation would authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide federal funding in security assistance to 501(c)(3) organizations that are at risk of being attacked by terrorists. After funds have been directed to high-risk institutions, federal loan guarantees would be available through a new office in the Department of Homeland Security that will work with potentially vulnerable non-profit organizations.

The legislation directs that funding to non-profits will only be used for security enhancements, technical assistance to assess security needs and develop plans, and to train security personnel. The legislation was drafted carefully to protect and uphold the critical church and state provisions of the U.S. Constitution. As such, the legislation directs that the government will not provide direct assistance, whether in the form of cash or vouchers, to any religious institution. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security would be responsible for providing funding to government contractors, who will make security enhancements to high-risk non-profits to protect Americans from terrorism.

"This amendment is simply a matter of providing non-profits the tools they need to protect themselves," said Nadler. "We live in an era where all high-risk organizations must take necessary precautions. This amendment will help them do that."

"I want to thank Congressman Nethercutt, who introduced the bill with me, as well as the United Jewish Communities (UJC), the American Red Cross, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the United Way, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, The American Hospital Association, The UJA Federation of New York and the myriad of other groups that have offered their support in passing this vital legislation."