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ASAE COVID-19 Advocacy Update: April 27

Federal support of 501(c)(6) organizations appears to be growing

Late last week, President Donald Trump signed a $484 interim funding bill to increase the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and provide resources to hospitals and testing programs, among other provisions. Once more, 501(c)(6) associations were not included in this legislation. It is important to note, however, that legislators explicitly stated this interim bill would include more money for the PPP but not expansion of eligibility. 

As the interim bill was negotiated, Congressional staff were already drafting aspects of the next, large-scale relief measure, commonly referred to as “CARES 2.0” or “COVID-4.” Drafting will continue over the next several weeks, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is optimistic 501(c)(6) associations will gain access to vital relief measures. To that end, several high-profile legislators are now on the record in support of 501(c)(6) associations:

  • In a major development, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Joe Manchin (D-WV) sent a bipartisan letter with 18 signatories to Senate and Small Business Committee leadership urgently requesting that associations gain access to the relief they critically need. 
  • Today on MSNBC, Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed support for 501(c)(6) associations, among others.  
  • On April 20, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) sent a letter to Senate leadership that fully supports including 501(c)(6) associations in the PPP. 
  • In his recent Congressional testimony, Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ) lamented the PPP’s “exclusion of local non-profits and associations at the front lines of the crisis.” Eight other Members joined Congressman Kim to support associations in their April 23 House Small Business Committee hearing.
  • As previously reported, Congressmen Chris Pappas (D-CT) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) sent a letter with 60 bipartisan signatories to Pelosi requesting association relief.
  • Earlier in April, the New Jersey Congressional delegation wrote leaders in the House and Senate calling for 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) organizations to gain access to the PPP. 

While the next relief bill is weeks away, there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved and stay updated:

  • Send ASAE your stories. Many of you have already sent them extremely valuable data and anecdotes, but they need more to help make their case. If you haven’t yet emailed ASAE, please send a paragraph or two, with data points and figures, to at your earliest convenience. To support our messaging in Congress, ASAE specifically needs data on 1) how your organization is providing support amid the pandemic; 2) current and previous financial impact; 3) future financial impact; 4) layoffs, furloughs, etc.; and 5) insurance coverage for business interruption or event cancellations.
  • Follow ASAE Public Policy on Twitter @Power_of_A.
  • Communicate with your legislators on social media using ASAE’s sample messaging.

ASAE and its aligned organizations, like OSAE, have asked a lot of you and you have answered with inspiring support and commitment. But there is still a long way to go; so, please keep it up. As always, thank you for all the good you do.  For more information, visit ASAE’s Coronavirus Advocacy and Resources page. For questions or to sign up for Inroads, ASAE’s weekly policy newsletter, email

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