House-Senate Talks Advance: Keep Speaking Up for COVID-19 Relief!

July 28, 2020

Negotiations over the contents of the next COVID-19 federal relief package are accelerating, and the League of American Orchestras is providing the latest news and resources as you join partners from the broader arts and nonprofit sectors in urging Congress to provide critically-needed federal support.
 
Yesterday, Senate leadership released its proposals in the HEALS Act which, combined with the House leadership's HEROES Act and numerous stand-alone bills introduced in both chambers, form a mountain of proposals that may be incorporated, adapted, and shaped into a final package for passage before Congress adjourns for the August recess. 

We've compiled a new summary of the latest relief proposals and potential eligibility requirements under consideration to help inform your advocacy efforts.

Your ongoing advocacy is essential! Please continue reinforcing the following key requests along with the full slate of policy actions that will support the arts sector, its workforce, and its service to communities.

Join in asking Congress to: 

  1. Expand and recapitalize the Paycheck Protection Program resources, provide new opportunities for those that have exhausted initial PPP funds, and ensure eligibility for nonprofits of all sizes to support the arts workforce and its service to communities.
  1. Ensure that tax credits take the form of refundable payroll tax credits to support full nonprofit eligibility, and that tax credits are compatible with access to PPP funding and other forms of federal relief.
     
  2. Incentivize new and increased charitable giving by including an expanded Universal Charitable Deduction in the next COVID-19 relief package.
     
  3. Immediately expand the duration of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and improve guidelines for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to better support musicians and other gig economy workers with mixed W-2 and 1099 income sources. We are also asking Congress to increase the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100% of costs. 
     
  4. Include federal funding that will support the arts sector and its service to communities, support a complete education for all students through federal education funding and distance learning resources, provide relief administered through state and local governments, and adopt an emergency broadband benefit to support more equitable participation in artistic, educational, and cultural activity taking place online.
     
  5. Provide assistance for single- and multi-employer pension funds.


With jobs, livelihoods, and community services on the line, and complicated negotiations over liability reform and public and workplace safety standards underway, what happens next as policy decisions are finalized and implemented is critical. Over the coming days, House and Senate negotiators must determine the final contents of the package and, after relief is signed into law, various federal agencies will be tasked with once again issuing new guidance on how the provisions will be implemented. The League will keep you informed each step of the way.
 
Your ongoing advocacy is so important -- thank you for continuing to contact your representatives in Congress!