What nonprofits are pushing for in the relief bill

What nonprofits are pushing for in the relief bill

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As the Senate prepares for days of grueling debate on the White House’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, the nonprofit industry is among the sectors still lobbying for assistance. As of Tuesday, more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations have signed on to a January letter to congressional leaders laying out the sector’s asks.

— “When a nonprofit job is lost, it hurts not only the individual employee and their family in the organization, but hurts the community in that services are not being provided,” Tim Delaney, chief executive of the National Council of Nonprofits, told PI, pointing to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Johns Hopkins University measuring the number of nonprofit jobs lost since the pandemic at nearly 1 million.

— Delaney applauded House lawmakers for making changes to a 500-employee cap on loans under the Paycheck Protection Program that would allow nonprofits with that many workers spread across multiple locations to apply for the loans, and said the sector is looking to protect that change in the Senate version of the bill. But the council is pressing lawmakers to extend the expiration of new lending past its current March 31 deadline, a request that’s been echoed by a range of groups from the U.S. Travel Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the lenders providing loans, due to persisting issues with accessing the program.

— Nonprofits also continue to push for the Senate to increase to 100 percent coverage of unemployment benefits charged by states to self-insuring nonprofits, which the House bill hikes to 75 percent from 50 percent. The sector is also urging Congress to repeal a condition for charitable nonprofits that their revenue must have dropped by 25 percent in order to be eligible for a second draw of PPP, with Delaney noting that while a nonprofit’s revenues might have remained somewhat steady over the past year, costs have soared.

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