The deadline to join ASAE’s latest letter to Congress requesting COVID-19 assistance for 501(c)(6) organizations has been extended to Sept. 25. Association leaders are encouraged to add their organization’s name to the letter here.

The sign-on letter, which already includes more than 1,600 signatories, calls on Congress to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations. The letter also urges Congress to extend the PPP until at least March 31, 2021; allow 501(c)(6) associations to obtain a second PPP loan if needed, referred to as a “second draw”; expand the definition for eligible receipts within the second draw program to include in-person event cancellations and lost revenue from certification programs and other education; and apply the lobbying restrictions for eligible PPP loan recipients outlined in the House-passed HEROES Act. That restriction requires PPP loan recipients to exclude compensation to any federally registered lobbyist as an eligible PPP expense.

If it appears Congress is close to a deal before the sign-on deadline, ASAE will give interested organizations as much notice as possible before closing the letter.

As of this week, negotiations on a new coronavirus relief package are still stalled, though there is increasing pressure on both Democrats and Republicans to provide tangible aid to constituents in their home states and districts. House Democrats passed the sweeping $3.5 trillion HEROES Act in May, but the bill was rejected by Senate Republicans and some vulnerable Democrats in conservative-leaning districts are anxious to have a deal in place before they head home to face voters this fall. Last week, Senate Republicans tried to pass a skinny $500 billion COVID-19 relief bill that Democrats called “emaciated,” and President Trump may have complicated the GOP position this week by saying he’s open to a bigger bill that includes more direct payments to individuals.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) jumped on the president’s comments this week. “We are encouraged that after months of the Senate Republicans insisting on shortchanging the massive needs of the American people, President Trump is now calling on Republicans to ‘go for the much higher numbers’ in the next coronavirus relief package,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement. “We look forward to hearing from the President’s negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway with a bill that is equal to the massive health and economic crises gripping our nation.”

Pelosi did reportedly speak with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week but has stayed firm on the need for a larger package to address the COVID-related needs of the nation. Pelosi’s last offer to Mnuchin on a negotiated deal was in the $2.2 trillion range and she said earlier today that “it’s hard to see how we can go any lower when you see the great needs.”