- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2020

President Trump signed a bill Friday that spends $375 million over five years to help houses of worship and other nonprofits secure themselves against terror attacks.

The legislation will disburse $75 million each year to entities that want to enhance their security. Money can be spent on “hardening potential targets” through physical security or to cover the costs of security training for employees.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must report on the spending to Congress each year.

Mr. Trump called it an “incredible piece of legislation.”

“It took a long time to get it here, but this is something that is very, very special and great for you as mayors,” Mr. Trump told a bipartisan group of city leaders in the White House’s East Room.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed the bill in her own signing ceremony on Jan. 9, noting recent attacks on houses of worship.

“There is no place in our country for that kind of activity,” the California Democrat said.

Mr. Trump signed the bill as part of a broader victory lap in front of the mayors. He said his policies will make their communities safer and more prosperous.

“America is now the hottest economy anywhere in the world,” he said.

He said millennials and minorities are getting more jobs, his immigration enforcement is rooting out gang members and that he’s working with China to crack down on the flow of deadly fentanyl onto U.S. streets.

“They’re coming down very hard on fentanyl,” Mr. Trump said. “They’ve put in really strong penalties, and their penalties are really strong.”

Mr. Trump said his administration is dedicated to expanding school choice and that it’s proven popular. He also pledged to bring prescription drugs down by letting cities import medicines from Canada and pushing for a deal in Congress.

The president also highlighted his order to speed up the federal approval process for infrastructure projects that may impact the environment.
“You may get rejected but it’s going to go quickly,” Mr. Trump said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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