The DC Download – November 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.

Midterm Elections

Election Day was November 6, and the fun at the federal level is almost over. Republicans have picked up two Senate seats giving them a 53-47 majority in the 116th Congress next year, while Democrats are likely to pick up 40 seats in the House of Representatives, seizing control of that chamber by a 235-200 margin if they hold on in the final uncalled race in California’s 21st District.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program was funded by Congress earlier this year amidst concerns about individuals’ difficulty securing forgiveness from the core PSLF program, but recent data indicates things are not much rosier under TEPSLF. According to data released at a recent conference, the Department of Education approved just 26 of 34,000 applications for TEPSLF. Urge your legislators to protect public service loan forgiveness today.

Year-end Tax Package Released

Earlier this week, outgoing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady released a 297-page tax bill aimed at wrapping up the year’s legislative business on a wide range of tax issues. The bill seeks to extend numerous expiring tax provisions, make technical corrections to the 2017 tax bill, boost retirement savings and innovation, reform the Internal Revenue Service, and provide certain disaster relief. Of potential interest to the nonprofit sector, the bill includes a mandate for electronic filing of Form 990 and temporarily suspends limits on deduction for charitable contributions related to recent natural disasters. The bill does not include delays or modifications to the harmful UBIT provisions enacted in 2017. Democrats have thus far indicated little support for the bill, and serious negotiations would need to pick up soon for it to stand a chance of becoming law this year.

Johnson Amendment

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed multiple appropriations bills, which contained language that would block enforcement of the Johnson Amendment for churches. The Senate version did not contain any anti-Johnson Amendment language. With Congress back in town, negotiators have been attempting to reconcile these and numerous other differences between the bills, but have thus far been unsuccessful. Republican leaders huddled yesterday at the White House, but time is tight before the current continuing resolution for much of the government expires on December 7. Please urge your legislators to fully protect the Johnson Amendment in any appropriations package.

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