Washington Snapshot: Passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House and new PPP guidance from the IRS

What You Need to Know About Public Policy This Week...


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Ask Congress to Extend and Expand the Charitable Deduction: Last year, Congress extended the temporary charitable deduction for non-itemizers until the end of 2021. With many communities and nonprofits continuing to need resources to respond to the pandemic and other crises, the Charitable Giving Coalition, of which the Council on Foundations is a member, is urging congressional leaders to support expanding and extending the universal charitable deduction in any year-end legislation.  Read the letter and sign-on. The deadline to sign on is Dec. 1, 2021.

The Council’s Values-Aligned Philanthropy Work Continues: Council Vice President of Government Affairs David Kass recently published an article in the Nonprofit Quarterly about our values-aligned philanthropy initiative. Read more about the project.


Congress IconHouse Democrats Pass Build Back Better Act

After months of negotiations and a record-breaking filibuster from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-TX), House Democrats passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R.5376) today. The bill includes most of the president’s Build Back Better Framework, including extending the expanded Child Tax Credit, efforts to combat climate change, and incentives to increase affordable housing. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the legislation will result in a net decrease in the deficit of $797.7 billion over the 2022-2031 period. Next, the Build Back Better Act will head to the Senate, where it will likely be amended due to concerns some Democratic Senators have raised.

Congress still has several major legislative priorities that must be worked out before the end of the year, including federal government funding, which is set to expire December 3, and the debt ceiling, which the government is set to hit mid-December.


Executive & Regulatory News IconIRS Issues Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program

On Thursday, the IRS issued new guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Revenue Procedures 2021-482021-49, and 2021-50 all address the tax treatment of PPP loans, confirming that while PPP will be excluded from taxpayers’ gross income, it must still be included in some receipts. Read the Journal of Accountancy’s summary.


Executive & Regulatory News IconNew Funds for Community-Based Efforts to Address Barriers to COVID-19 Vaccination

On November 15, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the availability of new funds for community-based organizations under the American Rescue Plan to expand tailored local outreach to build vaccine confidence and address barriers to vaccination. The funding will support regional and local partnerships that can reach unvaccinated individuals, including pregnant women and people from underserved and high-risk communities, to help bolster COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The application and eligibility information for the Community-Based Workforce to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Funding Opportunity is at Grants.gov. Applications are due December 10, 2021. Foundations or their grantees can contact CBOVaccineOutreach@hrsa.gov with any questions.


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White House Tribal Nations Actions

During the Tribal Nations Summit this week, President Biden issued the Executive Order on Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People. The order directs government agencies to work together with Tribal Nations and Tribal partners to build safe and healthy Tribal communities and to support comprehensive law enforcement, prevention, intervention, and support services. The order is among many commitments by the Administration to help Tribal communities in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,  to advance equity and opportunity, and to help Tribal Nations overcome new and long-standing challenges.


Executive & Regulatory News IconTreasury Department's Small Business Credit Initiative Under ARPA

On November 10, Treasury announced the guidelines of the new version of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), funded by the American Rescue Plan. The SSBCI provides $10 billion to States, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to help small businesses emerging from the pandemic and lays the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. The program has several key features to expand access to capital, promote economic resiliency, and create new jobs and economic opportunities, including a particular focus on the provision of capital to underserved communities that are lacking capital to support entrepreneurs and small businesses.


State Policy IconHappening in the States

Exclusive from our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits.

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Special Sessions Address Vaccination and Masking Policies

Several state legislatures are going into a special session to consider issues including, vaccination and masking policies, while others have wrapped up with their Governors signing vaccination-restricting laws. Earlier this month, Alabama Governor Ivey signed a bill to exempt vaccination as a condition of employment in the public sector. Tennessee Governor Lee signed the COVID-19 special session omnibus bill that is expected to have a major impact on the ability of for-profit and nonprofit employers to require masks or vaccines. The new law mandates that employers may not require proof of vaccination, employees who are terminated because they refuse to get vaccinated remain eligible for unemployment benefits (including retroactively), and employers can be sued by an individual to stop a vaccine or mask requirement. A Utah bill on vaccine exemptions, which would give employees exemptions from vaccine mandates and require employers to pay for on-site testing, passed in the Legislature and now heads to Governor Cox’s office for his signature. In North Dakota’s special session, 19 bills were sent to Governor Burgum’s desk after a five-day session, including a measure to restrict vaccination mandates by providing exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Idaho’s special session considered more than 30 bills on vaccine mandates, but they adjourned after three days without approving any of the measures. In Florida, four bills will be sent to Governor DeSantis’s office requiring that employers expand options for employees to opt-out of vaccination mandates, approve a plan for the state to withdraw from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and create a Florida-only agency, and protect employees who submit complaints about a company’s vaccination policies.