Orthodox Union Welcomes Letter Urging Congressional Leaders to Incorporate Bipartisan Legislation Providing Dramatic Relief for Charities in Next Coronavirus Relief Package

Posted on April 30, 2020 In Charities, Press Releases

US Reps Seth Moulton, Brian Fitzpatrick Spearhead Request to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Kevin McCarthy by 140 House Members for Dedicated Funding for Nonprofits

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union)–the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization– joined more than 60 nonprofits nationwide in welcoming a letter urging Congressional leaders to include bipartisan legislation proposed by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) that will provide charities on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to receive critical relief in the next coronavirus legislation.

The letter (read in full here) requests that future coronavirus relief legislation includes a range of relief measures such as:

  • Establishing a reserve fund dedicated to offering loans for nonprofits and expanding nonprofits’ eligibility in the Paycheck Protection Program by removing the existing 500-employee cap;
  • Adjusting existing CARES Act provisions so that they offer loan forgiveness and other programs to nonprofit employers with more than 500 employees and encouraging private lenders to prioritize processing the applications of charitable nonprofits;
  • Increasing federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100 percent of costs;
  • Strengthening charitable giving incentives by allowing taxpayers making donations on and after March 13 and before July 16 to claim the deductions on their 2019 tax filings, as well as increasing the existing $300/person cap for “above-the-line” deductions in the CARES Act and extending the effective date of the incentive.

The OU Advocacy Center, the Orthodox Union’s advocacy arm, has been at the forefront in working with the White House, Congress and a broad coalition of nonprofit allies since the start of the pandemic to draft and advocate for the CARES Act to ensure that the charitable sector is eligible for federal coronavirus relief including forgivable small business loans; unemployment insurance expansion; employee retention tax credits; payroll tax credit deferrals; aid for nonpublic schools; FEMA disaster loans; and access to emergency response funds for the nation’s Jewish and other nonpublic K-12 schools.

Said Orthodox Union Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament:
“We commend U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Seth Moulton for spearheading this call for legislation, which offers much-needed support for Jewish charities and other community nonprofits working to provide people with critical services during this pandemic. While we appreciate Congress including provisions in the CARES Act that mitigated the economic hardship to some in the nonprofit sector, it fell short in making sure our nation’s nonprofits have the assistance they so desperately need to survive and help others during this uncertain time.”

Said OU President Mark (Moishe) Bane:
“America’s charities – including those in the Jewish community – are struggling with the strain of trying to provide for others while themselves staying afloat amid slashed budgets, layoffs and other damage wrought by the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. We expect these challenges to worsen in the near term, and we must ensure that America’s Jewish communal institutions, along with other nonprofits, can continue to fulfill the many needs of our community. We urge Congressional leaders to include these legislative provisions in the next major legislative package they are presently crafting.”