Orthodox Union Commends Congress for Passing Coronavirus Response Legislation that Includes Support for Charitable Sector Amid Coronavirus Emergency

Posted on March 26, 2020 In Press Releases, Family Friendly Tax Policy

Bill Contains Help for Nonprofitsbut Congress Must Do More to Help Struggling Charities on Front Lines 

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union) – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – today welcomes Congress’s passage of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, which includes significant assistance for the nonprofit charitable sector so that it may continue to serve vulnerable families and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, the advocacy arm of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, worked with a broad coalition of non-profit allies to ensure the CARES Act – which includes nearly $2 trillion in emergency economic stimulus funding – provides emergency appropriations that will benefit charities by offering forgivable small business loans, unemployment insurance expansion, employee retention tax credits, payroll tax credit deferrals, aid for nonpublic schools and FEMA disaster loans. The legislation also provides the nation’s Jewish and other nonpublic K-12 schools with access to a pool of emergency response funds.

The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center joined charities nationwide in sending a letter to Congress requesting a dedicated $60 billion fund to help the nonprofit charitable sector continue to serve as front line responders in their communities. The Orthodox Union and its partners also asked for a robust incentive for Americans to increase their charitable donations in these difficult times through an “above the line” tax deduction of at least $8,000 (for married couples). Without a dramatic financial and programmatic backstop from the federal government, the nation’s nonprofits and those we serve face a precipitous decline in mission services at a time when our efforts are in dire need.

Said Orthodox Union President Mark (Moishe) Bane:
“More attention can and must be focused by Washington on America’s charities, which are already being strained by reduced donations at a time the demand is so great, and will continue to grow as this pandemic worsens. The charitable sector can, and will continue to help to those who depend on us – whether for social welfare services, education, health or spiritual sustenance.”

Said Orthodox Union Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament:
“As the coronavirus pandemic strikes communities across the United States, we are grateful that Congress passed this legislation, and we are particularly thankful to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, the primary architects of the CARES Act, who ensured it contains important aid to nonprofit organizations. We also thank Senator Lankford and Senator Coons and other legislators who tirelessly advocated to ensure that it contained provisions to help the charitable sector. At the same time, we are disappointed that Congress did not include a number of provisions in earlier drafts that would have offered much greater, and much needed assistance to nonprofits and those we serve – especially during this uncertain and precarious time. We are committed to continuing to work with our elected leaders so that we can serve as a safety net for those who most need us.”