September 2021 Public Policy Roundup

September 2021 Public Policy Roundup

Publication date: 
September, 2021

By Hillary Evans, vice president of professional learning & public policy, Philanthropy Southwest

Public Policy Roundup 9.21.21 (September issue) 

Congress Plans Short-term Federal Spending Bill; House Ways & Means Committee Approves Tax Proposals

Democratic leaders are likely to suspend the debt limit in offering a short-term federal spending bill to fund the federal government through December.  The Senate returned to Washington last week following August recess and September holidays to resume the debt ceiling talks and efforts to avert a government shutdown.  Meanwhile Congress continues to debate the price tag of a $3.5 trillion dollar Build Back Better spending plan that includes raising $2.3 trillion in tax revenue over the next ten years.  The House Ways & Means Committee approved these tax increases mostly on corporations but also tax hikes on wealthy Americans by increasing the top individual tax rate to 39.6%, raising the top capital gains rate to 25% and curbing large retirement savings accounts for high-income earners. These tax proposals will now advance to the House Budget Committee and then to the House floor for a vote. The Senate will also prepare its draft version of the package which could differ from the House version.  For a more detailed analysis of these tax proposals, click here

Update on Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act

As previously reported, PSW has been monitoring the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act (S. 1981) introduced by Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). This legislation would make significant changes to the tax treatment of donor-advised funds (DAFs) and private foundations.

There has been no real movement on the ACE Act since its introduction in June.  The bill has not garnered any co-sponsors nor has there been a House companion bill introduced. While ACE was not incorporated into the House version of the $3.5 trillion tax and spending bill, there is a chance it could be included in the Senate version. PSW will continue to track any developments related to this bill.

In the meantime, Independent Sector is offering a convening series beginning in October through December on the ACE Act. You may click here to learn more about these upcoming ACE Act events. For further background on the ACE Act, Philanthropy Roundtable provided this policy brief which follows this one pager overview. And ICYMI, PSW hosted a webinar last month on ACE that is available to view on demand here.

2021 COVID Relief to Charitable Nonprofits

The Council of Nonprofits sign-on letter sent to President Biden along with House and Senate leaders now includes signatures by more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations nationwide.  This letter elevates the unique role that the nonprofit sector has in rebuilding the economy, restoring livelihoods, and strengthening communities during the pandemic. The letter calls on support of nonprofit jobs and resources needed to help communities recover. You may view an updated version of the letter here.

Register for Funder Briefing on Redistricting

Fair Representation in Redistricting (FRR), a national funder collaborative, is hosting, with support from the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, its next quarterly briefing on September 23 from 3:00 - 4:30pm (ET) to provide an update on the latest field strategies, communications research, and how the funder community can support fair and equitable redistricting. You can register here for the funder briefing.  This briefing is open only to philanthropic institutions, including foundations, philanthropy serving organizations, and donor advisors.

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