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Politics: New Senate bill would hurt charities and those they serve

Biden spending bill to likely slip in Senate after House delays

  Biden spending bill to likely slip in Senate after House delays The Senate's debate over President Biden's social and climate spending bill appears likely to slip, after the House failed to send the bill over before the Veterans Day recess. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had hoped to start debate on the Build Back Better legislation this week but instead, in a letter sent to the Senate Democratic caucus on Sunday, said that the Senate is "likely" to take up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a massive defense policy bill, instead.

Yet, the Senate bill would handcuff DAF donors by requiring that all funds be paid out within 15 years, or 50 years if a donor is willing to delay claiming a tax deduction for their gifts. Those that do not pay out within this arbitrary timeline would face a 50 percent tax on the charitable funds. In other words, the government would dictate when you must give your funds to charity , or it will take half of those dedicated charitable resources. Donors would lose the ability to save and grow their gifts over time, and charities would receive smaller gifts than might otherwise be the case.”

Again, that ’s not a surprising finding, given that the bill would undercut a central part of the Affordable Care Act, so it’s not going to change many minds in the Republican caucus. The CBO analysis also found that the bill would add .4 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. As Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake noted, the official analysis of the bill assumes that tax cuts in the bill that are set to expire will actually do that , which he thinks is unlikely. “The savings, the score, it just isn’t valid because you know that they ’re not going to follow through,” he told Politico.

Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently introduced a bill called the "Accelerate Charitable Efforts Act." The problem is, the measure would have the opposite effect.

a close up of a book: New Senate bill would hurt charities and those they serve © Thinkstock New Senate bill would hurt charities and those they serve

Among many concerns the charitable sector has with the legislation, there are three major threats to charitable givers and those in our communities that they serve.

First, the bill appears to vilify donor-advised funds, or DAFs, which are personal charitable giving accounts. Anyone can open a DAF, often with low or no minimums, and every dollar a donor puts into a DAF is immediately and irrevocably dedicated to charitable giving. These giving vehicles are a good way to commit to giving while having more time to think through strategic gifts or to allow funds to grow and appreciate for a larger ultimate donation to a charity. Without the overhead costs of starting a private foundation, DAFs make giving easy, accessible, and open to everyone.

This week: House aims to pass Biden spending bill as time runs out

  This week: House aims to pass Biden spending bill as time runs out House Democrats are aiming to pass President Biden's social and climate spending bill as they barrel closer toward the end of the year. Both the House and Senate are back this week from a one-week Veterans Day recess, but they're both expected to be out next week for Thanksgiving. And they're both aiming to get out of town for the year by Dec. 13. The House's expected consideration of the Build Back Better bill this week comes after Democrats punted their plan to hold a vote before the Veterans Day recess as moderates pushed for more information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The bill now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law, following hours of delays and internal debating among Democrats on Friday, including calls from Biden to persuade skeptical progressive members of the Democratic caucus. The legislation passed the Senate in August, but was stalled in the House as Democrats tried to negotiate a After hours of negotiating, the House finally moved forward to send the infrastructure bill to Biden's desk, despite opposition from progressives who had warned that they would sink the infrastructure bill if it moved ahead without the separate economic package.

Amazingly, The New York Times - 22 May 2021 - predicts massive population reduction over the next few decades. "Fewer babies' cries. More abandoned homes. Toward the middle of this century, as deaths start to exceed births, changes will come that "What we know about coronavirus from 30 years of experience is that a coronavirus vaccine has a unique peculiarity, which is any attempt at making the vaccine has resulted in the creation of a class of antibodies that actually make vaccinated people sicker when they ultimately suffer exposure to the wild virus."

Yet, the Senate bill would handcuff DAF donors by requiring that all funds be paid out within 15 years, or 50 years if a donor is willing to delay claiming a tax deduction for their gifts. Those that do not pay out within this arbitrary timeline would face a 50 percent tax on the charitable funds. In other words, the government would dictate when you must give your funds to charity, or it will take half of those dedicated charitable resources. Donors would lose the ability to save and grow their gifts over time, and charities would receive smaller gifts than might otherwise be the case.


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The second major flaw in the bill would be new rules against anonymous charitable gifts. Donor privacy would be threatened by forcing private foundations to disclose their DAF gifts in detail, as well as disallowing anonymous contributions of non-cash assets to DAFs. Such forced disclosure of some donations and the intent behind them may threaten the safety and well-being of donors, as well as chill charitable giving overall.

House passes Biden’s Build Back Better bill, sending measure with free preschool, climate initiatives to the Senate

  House passes Biden’s Build Back Better bill, sending measure with free preschool, climate initiatives to the Senate The roughly $2 trillion bill with climate initiatives, expansions in affordable housing and free preschool now heads to the Senate.The legislation was approved on a 220-213 vote clearing a major hurdle for a plan that is the cornerstone of his sweeping domestic agenda to expand the nation's social safety net, confront climate change, and help Americans bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The chancellor also announced that vaccinations would be mandatory from February 1. “We haven’t been able to convince enough people to vaccinate. For too long, I and others have assumed that you can convince people to get vaccinated,” he added, giving his rationale for the mandate. Schallenberg said he lamented the political forces, radical opposition, and fake news fighting against vaccination. Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe, with only 65% inoculated against the deadly virus according to data from Johns Hopkins university. Infection rates are almost among the

We live in a highly divisive culture in which donors to controversial causes may be wary of donating publicly to charities they support, for fear of facing threats and harassment for their views. But donors may seek to give privately for other valid reasons - such as religious beliefs, out of a sense of modesty, or to avoid unwanted attention and solicitations. Those interested in their privacy may be less likely to give if the King-Grassley bill is enacted. As the Supreme Court found in its recent Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta decision, "Each governmental demand for disclosure brings with it an additional risk of chill."

Finally, the bill would impose new burdens directly on the charities that the senators purport to support. Public charities must show the IRS they receive broad support from donors. The bill would treat all anonymous DAF gifts as coming from one person - even when that is not the case - making it more difficult for charities to meet public charity status under the tax code. More generally, several of the provisions would increase the administrative burden on DAFs, themselves public charities. These overhead costs ultimately would be borne by donors and would divert resources away from helping people.

At the Races: 1 BIF does not equal BFFs

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We all share the goal of incentivizing charitable giving. The King-Grassley legislation runs counter to that goal by handcuffing donors and popular giving vehicles. While this bill is a solution in search of a problem, there are broadly-supported ways that Congress can effectively increase charitable giving. Expanding and extending the above-the-line charitable tax deduction, for example, would encourage donations among taxpayers who don't itemize their deductions, without imposing punitive regulations on donors.

Yet, rather than seeking input from the charitable sector on the policies that see broad, evidence-based support, the senators have put forward counterproductive restrictions on popular charitable giving vehicles, to the detriment of the very charities their bill seeks to help.

Elizabeth McGuigan is director of policy at Philanthropy Roundtable.

Charities fundraising for other nonprofits on GivingTuesday .
GivingTuesday, the annual fundraising blitz on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, turns 10 this year. What began as a social-media hashtag to counter aggressive consumer advertising campaigns with appeals for charitable giving has now grown into a juggernaut. Charities raised an estimated $2.47 billion from U.S. donors on GivingTuesday last year in addition to the $503 million they raised on GivingTuesdayNow, the special May 5 giving day to raise emergency dollars to meet pandemic needs. This year, however, some fundraisers worry that donors will no longer feel the same urgency to give as they did in 2020.

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