Underwood bill aims to combat domestic terrorism

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood introduced legislation on Friday that she said aims to help protect communities from domestic terrorist threats.

The Safe Communities Act would help to provide resources to rural and suburban communities which have historically experienced funding gaps to ensure that first responders, schools, nonprofits and houses of worship can protect themselves against terrorist attacks, according to a news release.

“Rural and suburban communities are increasingly targets of terrorist acts, but too often don’t have access to the federal funding and resources they need to protect themselves,” Underwood said in the release. “If our schools aren’t secure, students and teachers can’t perform to their full capability. If our places of worship aren’t safe, we can’t practice our faith free from fear.”

The bill assesses the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s ability to deploy Protective Security Advisors to effectively serve rural and suburban areas. It also ensures Protective Security Advisors are communicating and delivering federal resources to these communities to bolster security and terrorism resilience.

Underwood introduced the bipartisan legislation with U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-New York.

Underwood serves as vice chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.