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Camp Floor Statement: H.R. 5806 – The Supporting America’s Charities Act

December 10, 2014

We find ourselves here today to, once again, address a group of tax provisions that need to be made permanent, this time for the sake of those who give to and ultimately benefit from charitable organizations.

Every day, selfless Americans nationwide decide to donate in support of an array of causes, be it finding a cure for cancer, helping underprivileged children succeed in school, or simply providing a meal and shelter that, for some, is hard to come by.

Countless Americans dedicate their lives to these causes and serving their friends and neighbors in need.  The three charitable policies in this legislation can provide tremendous support for those good works.  However, because these policies are only temporary, they are not nearly as effective as they can or should be.  It is well past time that Congress takes the necessary action to support America’s charities and those that benefit from their work and make these policies permanent. 

We were close to reaching a bipartisan deal with the Senate that would have made them permanent, but the President decided to play politics and issued a veto threat.  Just two days before Thanksgiving, the President announced that he considers a policy that encourages donations to food banks to be a giveaway to big corporations.  I would like to see the President travel to the West Midland Family Center food pantry in my district and tell them that they are a corporate giveaway.

The Supporting America’s Charities Act, H.R. 5806, fixes what the Administration and some Senators decided not to.  This legislation will ultimately increase charitable giving by making these policies permanent and enabling charities to better serve those in need.

These bipartisan proposals previously passed the House in July of this year as part of the America Gives More Act, and continue to experience unrivaled support from organizations nationwide.  In fact, 1,032 charitable organizations have written every Member of Congress in support of the permanent tax incentives.

Take, for example, a joint letter authored in July by five of America’s leading charitable organizations. In discussing their unanimous support for the America Gives More Act, they said, and I quote:

    I do not think I’m alone when I say this: policies that promote donations to health centers, youth counseling programs, and therapy for people with disabilities are NOT giveaways to corporate America.

    As I said last week, the end of the year is fast approaching, and a new tax filing season is just around the corner.  Now is not the time for those who so selflessly donate to wonder what tax surprises are waiting for them, no more than it is the time for charitable organizations to grow uncertain about their futures.

    There is no goodwill like that of an American.  As representatives of this great nation, we should do everything in our power to encourage individuals to give more and help charitable organizations expand their reach nationwide.

    As the giving spirit of the holiday season is around us, I urge my friends on both sides of the aisle, in both houses of Congress, to support those who give and those in need by voting yes on H.R. 5806.

    I reserve the balance of my time.