Public Policy Update - May 2022
Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill to Create Nonprofit Office in the White House Introduced
On April 26, Reps. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced the Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act, which would create a new nonprofit-focused office in the White House. The legislation aims to improve coordination between the federal government and the nonprofit sector, and the nonprofit office would make policy recommendations, coordinate the release of data on the sector gathered by federal agencies, and seek to make it easier for nonprofits to access federal grants, among other activities.
The legislation has significant support from many in the charitable sector, including Philanthropy Southeast, which joined with over 500 other organizations to sign onto a letter endorsing the bill.
When Rep. McCollum introduced similar legislation in 2010, concerns were raised by some in the sector that a new White House office could turn into a regulatory body and politicize nonprofits depending on which party holds the White House. Similar concerns are being raised with the current bill, with some arguing this type of office would imperil the independence of the nonprofit sector.
If no action is taken on the bill this year, it is worth noting that Rep. Upton is retiring at the end of this Congress, so proponents of the bill will likely need to find a new GOP lead sponsor.