Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Angus King (I-Maine) sent a bipartisan letter last week to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to advocate on behalf of nonprofits, charities, and houses of worship so that they are not overlooked in the fourth-phase relief proposal for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The letter asks the leaders to consider expanding access to relief and support, increase unemployment insurance reimbursement for nonprofit employees, and strengthen charitable giving incentives to help ease the burdens facing nonprofit employers as well as other types of small businesses.
“We thank Senators Lankford and King for standing in the gap for nonprofits and churches around the nation that have stepped up during this crisis to serve those who are suffering and in need even as they themselves are facing difficulties,” said NRB CEO Troy Miller in a press release. “Churches and nonprofits are doing everything they can to help our hurting nation, and we hope our nation’s leaders will do everything they can to ensure that they also receive the help they need during this difficult time.”
In announcing the letter last week, Lankford and King also noted how nonprofits have stepped up in the face of extreme uncertainty to address the challenges posed by both the coronavirus pandemic and the economic harm it’s bringing.
“Right now, every community across the country has food banks, shelters, and houses of worship that are busier than ever providing essential support and services to so many people in every state who need their help,” Lankford said in a press release. “They’re helping at a time when their own bottom line and well-being is suffering.”
“Maine’s nonprofits are answering the call to serve their communities—but even as their services are needed more than ever, the economic climate is drastically reducing critically-needed donations,” added King. “Losing these groups would be a gut punch to our families, our communities, and our economy—that’s why Congress must support nonprofits in the next coronavirus relief package.”
Joining Lankford and King in the letter are Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).
The full text of the letter can be found here.