September 3, 2020

We are close. Yes, negotiators remain apart on an overall deal for the next COVID-19 relief package, but 501(c)(6) organizations are close to gaining access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Fortunately for our community, expanding PPP to nonprofit associations and other 501(c)(6) organizations holds broad bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress.

The issues that repel negotiators, such as state funding, do not include PPP expansion to 501(c)(6)s. That said, we must do everything we can to keep this issue top-of-mind for Congress and the Administration. The more time goes by, the more opportunity for progress to recede. This is true for any issue, but we have the power to prevent that.

New Sign-On Opportunity

ASAE is pleased to announce a new community sign-on letter – focused solely on PPP – that urges Congress to pass relief legislation and support 501(c)(6) organizations. Add your organization by the September 14 deadline.

In addition to providing for 501(c)(6) eligibility on equitable terms, the letter calls on Congress to enact the following PPP-related provisions:

  1. Reauthorize until at least March 31, 2021;
  2. Include 501(c)(6) nonprofits in the so-called “second draw” program;
  3. Expand the definition for eligible “receipts” within the “second draw” program to include in-person event cancellations and lost revenue from certification programs and other education; and
  4. Apply lobbying language as outlined in Section 90001 of the HEROES Act and included in the broadly bipartisan Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501(c)(6) Protection Act of 2020 (H.R. 6697).

As a reminder, the lobbying language referenced in #4 above would prohibit borrowers from including salaries of all federally registered lobbyists on staff in PPP loan term calculations. We reported last month on harmful lobbying restrictions presented in the Senate.

Will They, or Won’t They? 

We’ve been through this exercise before. About a month ago, there was a chance for an agreement, but negotiations didn’t produce. Now, with government funding set to elapse at the end of September and the elections right around the corner, predictability is elusive. But we can try, and here’s how we see it:

  • Option One: Congress passes standalone COVID-19 relief between the middle and end of September.
  • Option Two: Congress attaches relief legislation to the government funding bill at the end of September.
  • Option Three: Congress passes legislation between October 1 and election day.
  • Option Four: Congress passes legislation between November and the end of the year.
  • Option Five: The new, 117th Congress passes legislation in the beginning of 2021 or not at all.

Our priority is to help secure an agreement by the end of September. October will be largely dedicated to political activities ahead of the elections and anything after that may depend on election results.

The best thing we can do right now is raise the volume on our collective voice. Congress and the Administration need to hear us, so make them listen and add your organization to our community sign-on letter.

Email publicpolicy@asaecenter.org with questions.