Advocacy Alert: July 18

House of Representatives Passes Bill Permanently Reinstating IRA Charitable Rollover

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4719, legislation that would permanently reinstate three charitable giving tax incentives, among them the IRA Charitable Rollover provision. This strong, bipartisan vote came on the heels of an open letter from over 850 nonprofit organizations in support of these provisions. Thank you to the more than 220 museums spanning 47 states that joined the Alliance in signing on! 
 
“I congratulate the House of Representatives on passing this common sense legislation, and hope the Senate will act on it,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “The IRA Charitable Rollover is a vital tool in museums’ efforts to deepen their economic and educational impact in their communities.”
 
As we have noted before, the IRA Charitable Rollover provision helped Americans donate over $140 million from their retirement accounts to causes they believed in, including many museums, in the first two years of its existence. It has since expired temporarily on multiple occasions, creating unnecessary confusion for donors and organizations alike. See more details in our Issue Brief on charitable giving.
 
While we appreciate the efforts of Representatives who supported this bill, it should be noted that those who opposed it mainly voiced concerns about the cost of the provisions and the legislative process, rather than the substance. The outlook for this legislation is unclear, as a proposal to extend these provisions for two years is currently stalled in the Senate. However, the House vote is an important step in the process, and the Alliance will continue to monitor this issue.
 
House Committee Restores Arts and Humanities Funding  
Last week, we asked you to help stop proposed $8 million cuts each to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This week, the Appropriations Committee unanimously adopted an amendment that reversed those cuts! Congratulations to the museum advocates who sent more than 800 letters to Congress, helping make this victory happen.
 
P.S. With the August Congressional recess approaching, there is still time to participate in the third annual “Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum Week.” The Alliance provides all the tools you’ll need in our step-by-step “How To” Guide. Also don’t miss our upcoming live webcast, Legislative Update: How Museums are Faring, for an in-depth update on the IRA Charitable Rollover and other issues affecting museums.