ASAE COVID-19 Advocacy Update: May 18
House passes HEROES Act, moves on to the Senate
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which would provide over $3 trillion for various COVID-19 relief measures, among other provisions. The HEROES Act expands the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to all associations and nonprofits. The legislation would make several other important changes to the PPP:
- At least 25-percent of PPP funds would go to nonprofits, and at least half of that 25-percent would be reserved for nonprofits under 500 employees.
- The covered period for PPP loans would be extended to Dec. 31, 2020.
- The covered period for PPP loan forgiveness would expand from the current eight weeks to 24 weeks.
- Clarifies that organizations receiving PPP loans can also take advantage of the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit.
- Eliminates the 75/25 rule on the use of loan proceeds.
Importantly, the legislation passed Friday night also includes new language that would prohibit loan calculations from including salaries paid to federally registered lobbyists. Further, the HEROES Act would prohibit loans to any Section 501(c)(4) organization that participates in federal, state or local campaign activities through the 2020 general election.
On May 11, prior to introduction of the HEROES Act, ASAE sent Congress an updated cover letter, along with its original sign-on letter with 4,300 organizations, to reiterate the need to include associations in the PPP. Associations are moving in the right direction, but the effort is far from over. As the Senate ramps up its own efforts on the next phase of COVID-19 relief, we have more opportunity to demonstrate the positive impact associations and nonprofits make not simply during this time of crisis but to the economy and society at large.