Nonprofits quick to ask for handouts from Congress in coronavirus rescue package

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With talk of President Trump pursuing a massive $850 billion economic stimulus package to counter the crippling effects the coronavirus is having on the economy, a group of prominent charities is getting in line for some of the windfall.

In a letter reportedly being sent to Congress on Wednesday, the group “is requesting that nonprofits receive $60 billion in emergency stimulus funding as part of the third coronavirus-related bill Congress is preparing to ensure organizations can continue to serve their communities during the outbreak,” The Hill reported.

Progressive Democrats — see socialists — like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., may object to “bailing out” corporations sent reeling by mandatory shutdowns of any number of industries, beginning with the travel industry and the restaurant industry, but they’re sure to be in agreement with nonprofits getting their share, given that the tendency here is to lean left. Way left.

In all, more than three dozen charities signed the letter, including the staples like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and United Way.

“Millions of jobs in America’s charitable sector are at risk unless a reliable source of cash can be provided to assure continued operations,” the charities wrote. “And in many cases, the scope of operations will need to expand to accommodate increased demand for vital services.”

More from The Hill:

The charities said that the $60 billion they’re requesting could be promptly distributed to organizations in a number of ways, including through an expansion of the Small Business Administration’s economic injury disaster loan program and emergency grants to nonprofits that receive grants from federal, state and local entities.

The nonprofits also said that employment-focused relief involving tax credits and deductions should make those incentives applicable to payroll taxes, which is the most significant tax charities pay. The groups praised the approach the House took on the stimulus bill it passed last week to provide a payroll tax credit to employers of a certain size, including charities, that provide paid family leave and sick time. They also encouraged Congress to provide payroll tax credits to charities of all sizes that provide paid family leave and sick time due to the coronavirus.

 

The charities are also asking for the creation of a universal charitable deduction for taxpayers through 2021, even for those who don’t itemize their deductions, and want people to be able to make donations now and claim a tax benefit on 2019 returns.

The Senate is expected to pass a House-passed coronavirus bill on Wednesday, and begin working on a third stimulus package that reportedly could cost upwards to $1 trillion, as the president promised to “go big” in responding to the crisis.

The exact price tag of the multibillion-dollar House emergency aid bill is unknown.

One thing is certain, average Americans are going to need help, as many have found themselves suddenly faced with the unfathomable reality of having their livelihoods taken away as a result of actions taken to counter the coronavirus.

With no idea of how they’ll put food on the table or keep a roof over their heads, this could prove to be catastrophic without a substantial safety net in place for these folks.

On that note, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joined with President Trump at a White House briefing on Tuesday and declared, “We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately.”

“What we heard from hardworking Americans, many companies are now shut down whether bars or restaurants, Americans need cash now and the president wants to get them cash now,” he said. “I mean now in the next two weeks.”

The Treasury Department is requesting $250 billion in direct payments to Americans, which is slated to being April 6, according to Politico.

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Tom Tillison

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