The DC Download – July 2018

Want to stay up to date, but need the short version? We’ve got you covered! Here  are the major federal policy updates from Washington, DC that may impact nonprofit work this month.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

There has been conversation for a while about the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, HR 4508, sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), being brought to the House floor before August recess. This will not be the case. The PROSPER Act would eliminate the PSLF program for new borrowers moving forward – stripping away this benefit for students and the communities served by civil society.

Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) will be introducing a Democratic Higher Education Act authorization, the “Aim Higher Act” this week. This bill would protect and expand the PSLF program to include individuals who work for Veteran Service Organizations and farmers.

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) have sent a letter requesting that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examine “the effects of federal student loan policies on borrowing, loan repayment, cancellation, discharge, and forgiveness.”

Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)

Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) has introduced HR 6037, which would repeal the increase of UBIT by certain disallowed fringe benefits. The bill language would essentially remove section 512(a)(7) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which caused the increase on UBIT – taking effect back to December 22, 2017, when the TCJA was passed. Representative Mark Walker (R-NC) has introduced HR 6460, the Lessen Impediments From Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act, which would repeal sections 512(a)(7) and 512(a)(6) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that imposes UBIT on qualified transportation fringe benefits. Independent Sector supports both pieces of legislation.

Johnson Amendment

Last week, the House of Representatives passed multiple appropriations bills, which contained language that would block enforcement of the Johnson Amendment for churches. The Senate version of the Financial Services/General Government (FSGG) bill is expected to be on the Senate floor this week. The Senate version does not currently contain any anti-Johnson Amendment language, and Senate leadership has thus far upheld a commitment to keep divisive policy provisions out of this year’s appropriations bills. These bills will eventually go to conference committee, where differences will need to be reconciled.

August Recess

August Recess starts this week for Representatives (and early August for the Senate)! Take advantage of their proximity to visit or invite them to see all the important the work you do. Check out our August Recess Toolkit for tips on how to do this!

Types: Blog, Policy Update
Global Topics: Congress, Data, Public Policy, Voices for Good
Policy Issues: Charitable Deduction, Charitable Giving, Federal Budget & Fiscal Policy, IRS Oversight, Lobbying & Political Activity, Nonprofit Operations, Political Activity Rules, Tax & Fiscal Policy, Tax Reform, UBIT