Reps. Maloney and Nadler Introduce Legislation to Deliver Emergency Relief to Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Community

Sep 30, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC ­– Today, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), along with Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam), Debra Haaland (D-NM), Jim Cooper (D-TN) Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), and Joe Morelle (D-NY), introduced the Culture, Arts, Libraries, and Museums Emergency Relief (CALMER) Act, to provide emergency relief funding to the arts and culture nonprofit community, encourage charitable giving, and expand CARES programs to include nonprofit organizations.

 

“New York’s vibrant arts and culture community cannot get back on its feet without immediate and comprehensive assistance from Congress,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Our nation’s museums, libraries, concert halls, and arts and cultural nonprofit organizations were among the first businesses to close because of COVID-19, and they will be the last to reopen. While arts and cultural nonprofits across the country have worked tirelessly to create digital content and support their communities through online programming, there is no way they can account for the loss in revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is upwards of $6 billion and continues to grow. This bill will give libraries, museums, and arts groups the assistance they need to pull through and continue enriching our communities nationwide.”

 

“The country’s museums, libraries, and performing arts venues have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Nadler.“Even as some of these institutions slowly re-open, it will take months, if not years, to fully recover from the economic blow of this year. Congress must provide assistance to these institutions, which house our country’s greatest works of culture and create hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions in economic activity. We must act now and pass the CALMER Act to ensure these institutions, which are the heart of New York, survive the pandemic and thrive for generations to come.”

 

Background:

The arts and cultural industry is a major contributor to the American economy, employing more than 5 million Americans and accounting for approximately 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). This sector plays an integral role in preserving American arts and culture, supporting local communities through education and programming, and reflecting current events and social movements.  However, this community was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic; one-third of America’s museums are expected to close, while the arts and cultural sector has lost an estimated 2.7 million jobs.

The CALMER Act aids the arts and cultural sector by:

  • Providing additional emergency relief funding for NEA, NEH, and IMLS grant programs created in CARES Act:
    • $4 billion in emergency relief funding for NEA
    • $4 billion in emergency relief funding for NEH
    • $6 billion in emergency relief funding for IMLS
  • Expanding NEA and NEH grant eligibility to all arts/cultural nonprofit organizations
  • Removing the $300 charitable deduction cap implemented in the CARES Act, and allowing taxpayers to claim the deduction on 2019, 2020, and 2021 taxes
  • Extending the suspension of the 50%-of-adjusted-gross-income (AGI) limitation for individuals and the 25% AGI limitation for corporations through 2021
  • Giving 501(c)(3) nonprofits a payroll tax holiday for 2020
  • Adjusting the Main Street Lending Program for nonprofits to give loan forgiveness to all 501(c) nonprofits and eliminate the minimum loan size for nonprofits so they don’t have to borrow more than they need
  • Expanding the Paycheck Protection Program to include all 501(c) nonprofit organizations