Nonprofits warily eye stimulus negotiations in Congress

U.S. Capitol
U.S. Capitol
Expanded federal loans and relief for unemployment insurance costs are among some of the requests nonprofits have made.

Nonprofits warily eye stimulus negotiations in Congress

Advocates for the sector are calling for expanded federal financial relief and support for self-insured employers.
August 5, 2020

As bipartisan congressional negotiations continue over the next coronavirus relief bill, advocates for the nonprofit sector have several priorities in mind, including expansions to the federal loan programs created to help businesses, charities and other institutions stay financially stable during the health crisis and recession. The HEROES Act passed by House Democrats features several provisions requested by the National Council of Nonprofits, such as expanding the Paycheck Protection Program to include nonprofits of all sizes and setting aside 25% of the loans specifically for nonprofits. Meanwhile, the HEALS Act would allow organizations with 300 or fewer employees that have seen a 50% reduction in gross revenues during the pandemic to apply for a second loan under the program. 

Nonprofits have also asked for full federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for organizations that operate as self-insured employers. “Shut-down orders by government officials and program cancellations have forced nonprofits to furlough or lay off staff, triggering immediate, catastrophic unemployment payment bills that are due this month in most states,” a letter from thousands of nonprofits to congressional leaders reads. Neither bill fulfills their ask for 100% reimbursement, but both make efforts to alleviate concerns from such employers. The House bill would repeal a U.S. Department of Labor ruling related to paying unemployment costs that nonprofit advocates called burdensome, while the Senate bill would increase the share of unemployment benefits the federal government would reimburse for nonprofits to 75%.

Another request from the nonprofit sector that has been omitted in both bills is the request for expanding charitable giving incentives.

Several other top-line issues that are set to be a point of major contention between congressional Democrats and Republicans, such as funding for states and liability protections, will also have major implications for nonprofit organizations. It remains to be seen where the two parties will reach an agreement as they inch closer to a deal. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.