A bill introduced in the Senate this week (S.1823) would amend the Stafford Act to allow churches and other houses of worship to receive grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged facilities. The Senate bill, introduced by Senators Blunt (R-MO), Cornyn (R-TX), Lankford (R-OK), and Cruz (R-TX) is a companion to (H.R. 2405) which was reintroduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) earlier this year.

The Senate bill was introduced days before Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to President Trump urging him to secure FEMA funding to build and repair churches damaged by the recent hurricanes. In response to this legislation, we issued a press release and an Action Alert to our supporters. While our hearts go out to all those impacted by the hurricanes, the government cannot compel citizens to support religious institutions.