The 118th Congress Has Convened:
As to What Will Be Accomplished, No One Knows
As the new Congress convened the first week of January, from the very outset, the many challenges facing the House of Representatives as to how it would move forward on legislation became immediately apparent. The long battle to elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker, which took 15 ballots — the most ballots to elect a Speaker since 1923, 100 years ago — was a microcosm of how fractious and complicated moving legislation in the House will be during this two-year 118th Congress.
The Senate convened on January 3 with substantially less fanfare than the House. While the Democrats will now have 51 seats out of 100, rather than the 50/50 Senate of the last Congress, it remains unclear how much legislation the Senate will pass in the new Congress, especially given the 60 votes required to break a filibuster to move legislation forward for a vote.
What does this mean for TNPA?
IRA Charitable Rollover
Let’s start with what happened at the very end of last year when Congress passed the Omnibus Spending Bill, which among its provisions, was the Securing a Strong Retirement Act.
This law enables the maximum annual contribution (currently $100,000) to an IRA Charitable Rollover to increase each year based on the annual rate of inflation (the Consumer Price Index or CPI). Additionally, the new legislation allows seniors to use their IRA to fund a gift annuity, enabling middle-income seniors to make charitable contributions while maintaining retirement income.
The timing of the gift annuity provision couldn’t have been better, with the increase in interest rates having also increased annuity rates by approximately 50% in the last year.
The enactment of this legislation was an important win for the nonprofit sector!
Universal Charitable Deduction
But the challenges facing the nonprofit sector on Capitol Hill continue. Toward the middle of last year, it appeared the package of 27 expired tax provisions, including the Universal Charitable Deduction, which expired on December 31, 2021, would be passed by Congress. Unfortunately, Congress could not come to closure on the package, leaving us without any Universal Charitable Deduction. A real frustration for nonprofits!
The battle to re-enact the Universal Charitable Deduction will continue, particularly in the Senate, under the strong leadership of Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE), who have been tireless champions on this issue. In the last Congress, 19 Senators cosponsored the Lankford/Coons bill. And in the new Congress, TNPA is determined to add additional Senators to this list. Our goal is twofold: first and foremost is to make permanent the Universal Charitable Deduction and second ideally to increase it from the current $600/$300 level (married couples/individuals).
Enacting comprehensive national privacy legislation remains TNPA’s top legislative priority. In the last Congress, a national privacy bill was reported out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. This legislation, however, had several critical flaws — it included 15 “carveouts,” which would have allowed current state privacy-related statutes to stay in force. The bill also allowed for a Private Right of Action, which could lead to frivolous class action lawsuits. This bill was never considered on the House floor and thus “died,” as all bills do at the end of the last Congress.
In the new Congress, TNPA will be back at it, working in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to promote the enactment of comprehensive national privacy legislation.
From the States
We continue to follow legislation in the states. Read more about new state laws and proposed state bills that could impact the work of the nonprofit sector on the TNPA website.
Capitol Hill Day (Virtual)
Wednesday, February 8
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET
Half-Day Options Available
Hill Days are an opportunity for sector leaders to share their experiences with policy-makers. Your participation plays a critical role in TNPA’s advocacy efforts and supports legislation that will help the nonprofit sector.
You do not need to be an expert on specific legislation or the Congressional process — TNPA staff will be there for that, AND to prepare you in advance.
This is also a fun, energizing day and a good networking opportunity with your professional peers. Register Here!
ICYMI: Around Capitol Hill with Mark Micali in 90 Seconds | January 2023
TNPA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mark Micali is here to keep you in the loop on what is happening on Capitol Hill on issues important to the nonprofit sector.
Congressional Spotlight: Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
Each month The Nonprofit Alliance introduces you to a member of Congress who is a leader on legislative matters important to our TNPA community, with representation from both parties.
The Nonprofit Alliance has worked closely with U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada. Senator Rosen was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, and then in 2018 became the first female freshman House member in history to be elected to the United States Senate. She brings an interesting and unique background to public service, having built a career as a former computer programmer and systems analyst for some of Nevada’s largest companies. Her background in computer technology has been a major plus in working with the Senator on often complex online data and privacy issues before the Senate Commerce Committee, of which she is a member.
In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Rosen was active in passing and later expanding the Small Business Loan Forgiveness provision of the $2.2 Trillion CARES Act – creating what became known as the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP. This provision, which Senator Rosen worked on as a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, was of great benefit to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations with 500 or fewer employees, allowing full forgiveness of loans when applied principally toward retaining employees making $100,000/year or less.
More recently, Senator Rosen has continued the efforts to support financial protection by co-sponsoring the Legacy IRA Act. Many of the provisions of this bill were included in the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, which was ultimately made part of the Omnibus Spending Bill signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022. This law enables the maximum annual contribution (currently $100,000) to an IRA Charitable Rollover to increase each year based on the rate of inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index or CPI). Additionally, the legislation allows seniors to use their IRA to fund a gift annuity, enabling middle-income seniors to make charitable contributions while maintaining retirement income.
Senator Rosen often states that one of the most important aspects of her job is listening to her constituents, truly hearing their concerns, and then using their stories to inform her work on behalf of Nevadans in the U.S. Senate. In that vein, she has been a leader in fighting to ensure small businesses have the resources they need to thrive.
The Nonprofit Alliance looks forward to continuing to work closely with Senator Rosen.