by Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Relations, Goodwill Industries International
At the time of this writing, debate is underway in the Senate on their version of the American Rescue Plan. As part of the process, the 600+ page bill is being read aloud at the request of Senator Johnson (R-WI), which could take several hours. Following the reading of the bill, there will be up to 20 hours allocated towards debate during a session referred to vote-a-rama. During this period, which sounds more exciting than it actually is, amendments are voted on in rapid succession.
The current version of the bill contains provisions that provide much-needed support to nonprofits like Goodwill® and the communities we serve. These include more funding for worker protections, child care, schools, and food assistance among other items; an increase in the amount of federal unemployment insurance reimbursement given to nonprofits who self-insure; expanded access to the Paycheck Protection Program to certain nonprofits with more than 500 employees; and funding to states and localities from which nonprofits can benefit.
Join us in contacting your Senators to protect the provisions that will provide the most important types of #Relief4Charities. Contact your Senators today!
Upon passage of the bill in the Senate, the new text will have to go back to the House for passage. Ultimately, it will go to the President for his signature. Congress is trying to get all of this done by March 14, as that is when a number of current COVID-19-related programs are set to expire.
Nonprofits like Goodwill have an important role to play in recovery efforts post pandemic, and we need support from Congress to help us do so. Thanks in advance for being a part of our Congressional outreach efforts.