North Dakota Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven joined Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Angus King (I-ME) today in sending a bipartisan letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to advocate that they do not overlook nonprofits, charities, and houses of worship in the fourth-phase relief proposal for the coronavirus pandemic. The letter asks the Leaders to consider expanding access to relief and support, increase unemployment insurance reimbursement for nonprofit employees, and strengthen charitable giving incentives to help ease the burdens facing nonprofit employers as well as other types of small businesses.

During the previous Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act discussion, Lankford offered an amendment, which would have increased the bill’s $300 limit on the charitable giving deduction to one-third of the standard deduction ($4,000 for an individual filer and $8,000 for married joint filers) for the 2020 tax year—a move supported by more than 1,000 nonprofits across the nation. While the CARES Act also provided some nonprofits access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), there are additional steps the Senate can take to ensure these critical entities are able to continue to serve where government cannot. 

“When people across the country are hurting, nonprofits step up to meet their needs—no matter the circumstances or the challenges,” said Lankford. “Right now, every community across the country has food banks, shelters, and houses of worship that are busier than ever providing essential support and services to so many people in every state who need their help. They’re helping at a time when their own bottom line and well-being is suffering. I’m grateful to partner with Senator King to ensure we can help those who provide direct relief and support to our friends and neighbors across Oklahoma, Maine, and the entire country. I challenge my colleagues to join us in this effort and provide help to those whose mission is to help others.”

“In the face of extreme uncertainty, nonprofit organizations across Maine are stepping up to address the challenges posed by both the coronavirus pandemic and the economic harm it’s bringing,” said King. “Whether it’s helping get food to families in need, or addressing the crisis’s impact on mental health, or making sure our most vulnerable citizens are cared for, Maine’s nonprofits are answering the call to serve their communities—but even as their services are needed more than ever, the economic climate is drastically reducing critically-needed donations. Losing these groups would be a gut punch to our families, our communities, and our economy—that’s why Congress must support nonprofits in the next coronavirus relief package.”