RELEASE: Three Gottheimer-Led Amendments Pass in the Homeland Security Package, Strengthening Nonprofit Security Grant Program, and Combatting Auto Theft

Delivers an additional $30 million for security of religious institutions — and makes Nonprofit Security Grants more accessible. Helps the Department of Homeland Security better combat global auto theft rings

Jun 26, 2024
Press

Above: Gottheimer advocates for increased Nonprofit Security Grant program funding on the House floor.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Wednesday, June 26, 2024, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) helped lead three amendments that passed in the 2025 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act.

Gottheimer’s amendments in the Homeland Security appropriations package include:

  • A bipartisan amendment co-led with Representatives Bill Pascrell (NJ-9) and Michael McCaul (TX-10), which will increase funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program by $30 million.
  • An amendment that improves the Nonprofit Security Grant Program’s outreach, access, and transparency.
  • An amendment that helps the Department of Homeland Security combat global auto theft rings that use U.S. ports to export stolen cars abroad.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program helps religious institutions invest in physical protections, security technology, and training to keep their communities safe in the face of rising hate. In May, Gottheimer announced that North Jersey clawed back a record $4.8 million in Nonprofit Security Grants to 34 nonprofit organizations across North Jersey. In April, as part of the bipartisan security aid package, Gottheimer successfully negotiated and passed a $400 million investment in the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This critical program is majorly oversubscribed: Applicants requested $679 million in funding this year for a program that only has about $300 million available.

Funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is more critical than ever given the rise in antisemitism and other forms of hate. According to data released by the Anti-Defamation League or ADL, there were nearly 9,000 antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2023 — the highest number on record since the ADL started tracking antisemitism in 1979. This included 5,200 incidents following October 7th — more than all of 2022 — and 830 incidents in New Jersey, specifically. 

Video of Gottheimer’s remarks, supporting an amendment on Nonprofit Security Grants can be found here.

Gottheimer’s auto theft amendment builds on his previous work to stop coordinated auto theft rings. In April, he introduced the bipartisan Combatting Auto Robbery at the Source — or CARS Act — to re-establish a National Auto Theft Bureau (NATB) with Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (NY-4).

I’m glad to see three of my amendments included in the House version of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The Nonprofit Security Grant program is all about protecting religious freedom and our houses of worship, schools, and community centers, including temples, churches, and mosques – the very places everyone should feel safe. My amendment on auto theft helps ensure our federal law enforcement are equipped to stop organized auto criminals,”  said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Here in America, the greatest country in the world, we must prioritize both religious freedom and public safety. My amendments help us achieve both of those goals.”

Gottheimer’s remarks in support of his Nonprofit Security Grant Program amendment, as prepared for delivery: 

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bipartisan amendment to increase the budget of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program by $30 million. I want to thank my colleague from New Jersey, the great Congressman Bill Pascrell, and the gentleman from Texas, Chairman Michael McCaul, for offering the amendment.

The Nonprofit Security Grant program is all about protecting religious freedom and our houses of worship, schools, and community centers, including temples, churches, and mosques – the very places everyone should feel safe. Nonprofit Security Grants fund physical barriers like ballasts and bulletproof glass, technology to help with monitoring threats like cameras, and the hiring of on-site security officers. On top of that, these grants equip our nonprofits with the training and education they need to stay secure. 

This program is critical — and majorly oversubscribed. Applicants requested $679 million in funding this year for a program that only has about $300 million available. As a result, just 42% of applications — fewer than half — receive funding.

Here in America, the greatest country in the world, we must ensure that religious freedom endures. And we must do everything we can to protect our children, families, and communities from hate and discrimination.

Unfortunately, Jersey is a hub for antisemitic hate. Nearly 1 in 10 of the incidents reported to the ADL happened in our state. Bergen County led the state in shameful, antisemitic attacks. There were almost quadruple the number of insults, assaults, and death threats reported right here, in this county, in 2023 as compared to the year prior.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2023 was the worst year for antisemitism since they began collecting data in 1979. There were more than 8,000 antisemitic incidents reported in 2023, including more than 5,000 antisemitic incidents reported after October 7.

Antisemitism is just part of the story. We must reject hate and bigotry in all forms. We’re seeing disturbing incidents of Islamophobia and anti-Asian racism in North Jersey and the tri-state area.

During Eid al-Fitr, in New Jersey, Rutgers’ Center for Islamic Life was vandalized, as a suspect smashed artwork and plaques with Quranic verses. Our Asian American, Pacific Islander Community is also under attack. A March survey from The Asian American Foundation found that one in five Asian American New Yorkers had been physically assaulted. It’s disgusting and completely unacceptable.

We must ensure that all people are safe – on college campuses, in our neighborhoods, at our schools, at our churches, mosques, and synagogues. That’s what Nonprofit Security Grants are all about. 

As the only Jewish member of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation and, as the only Jewish member of the House Intelligence Committee, this is very personal for me. I believe strongly in our American Values, one of which is freedom: freedom from fear, freedom from hate, and freedom to worship, live, and learn however you so choose. To safeguard these freedoms that we hold so dear, we need to invest in our security. 

To help combat hate, since I was sworn in, I’ve been focused on clawing millions of federal dollars from Washington back to North Jersey through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program every year that I’ve been in Congress. I was proud to claw back $4.8 million in these vital grants for my district this year.

I urge my colleagues to support my amendment. I reserve the balance of my time.

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