Skip to content
Press Release

Letter to Speaker Mike Johnson on the Bipartisan Countering Antisemitism Act

April 29, 2024

The Honorable Mike Johnson
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol

I write with respect to the need to urgently consider comprehensive legislation designed to address the dangerous rise in antisemitism across America.

In May of 2023, President Joe Biden released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, which outlines important executive action taken by the administration and makes legislative recommendations at every level of government.

Quite disturbingly, subsequent to the release of the Biden administration’s strategic blueprint and in the aftermath of the heinous October 7 attack by Hamas, antisemitic incidents have risen to historic levels. Other than taking up resolutions that are symbolically meaningful, the House has failed to consider comprehensive legislation to combat antisemitism. We have a moral obligation to do much more.

To that end, the Co-Chairs of the House and Senate Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism, including Representatives Kathy Manning and Chris Smith, introduced bipartisan legislation in early April that addresses the crisis of antisemitism and aggressively confronts the startling threats against Jewish people in America. The Countering Antisemitism Act would strengthen efforts to combat antisemitism in the U.S. and implement policies designed to keep Jewish communities safe. It supports implementation of the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism and helps make its policies permanent.

H.R. 7921 establishes a National Coordinator in the White House to oversee a new Interagency Task Force to Counter Antisemitism focused on combating domestic antisemitism and ensuring coordination among the federal agencies in fighting this terrible hatred. The legislation also requires the FEMA Administrator to guarantee the agency has the resources needed to operate the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NGSP) which provides funding to synagogues, Jewish schools and other institutions for physical security enhancements. In the national security supplemental that Congress passed and the President signed into law last week, we included $400 million for the NGSP, underscoring this urgent need.

In addition, this bill ensures the administration reports to Congress on implementation of federal strategies to combat antisemitism and designates a senior official to advise and oversee the Department of Education’s efforts to fight antisemitism on college campuses. There is nothing scheduled on the floor this week that would accomplish the concrete, thoughtful strategies outlined by the Biden administration, set forth in the legislation and echoed by leading Jewish organizations across the country.

The effort to crush antisemitism and hatred in any form is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s an American issue that must be addressed in a bipartisan manner with the fierce urgency of now. In this spirit, I strongly urge you to schedule a vote on the bipartisan Countering Antisemitism Act forthwith.


Hakeem Jeffries
Democratic Leader