Policy News

May 2 Federal Update: Tax and Deficit Reduction Bill in the Works

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May 2, 2022

Last week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to talk about a tax increase and deficit reduction bill. Manchin argued that deficit reduction could help mitigate rising inflation. He pushed for the corporate tax rate to increase from 21% to 25% and for certain loopholes to be eliminated. He also is open to allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, which would also help reduce the deficit.

Though he had shown openness to including child care provisions in previous proposals, Manchin said he no longer supports any social spending moving forward. In theory, the bill would be able to pass with only 50 votes, as opposed to the usual 60, through the budget reconciliation process, which is reserved purely for tax and spending bills. However, it is unclear whether the critical 50th vote, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), will sign on, as she has publicly opposed corporate tax increases in the past. Though Social Current is disappointed in recent congressional deadlock, we will continue to advocate for the nonprofit sector and the families and communities we serve.

Centrist Democrats Introduce Slew of Health Care Bills

A sleight of centrist House Democrats, called the New Democrat Coalition, have endorsed 22 health care bills, urging leadership to put them up for a vote. The bills cover numerous topics, including mental health for children in schools and opioid addiction prevention and recovery. Each bill has at least one Republican cosponsor and 13 have companion bills in the Senate. The New Democrat Coalition is proposing to pass as many of these bills in a bipartisan manner as possible before the midterm elections in November. Lawmakers are discussing whether to pass each bill separately, or as a combined package. Furthermore, it is unclear which of these bills can pass in the Senate, which requires 60 votes for a measure to pass. Leaders of the New Democrats hope to have the bills marked up in May and introduced onto the floor of the House during the summer. Here is a list of the endorsed bills:

  • H.R. 3259 — Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act
  • H.R. 5141 — MOBILE Health Care Act
  • H.R. 7076 — Supporting Children’s Mental Health Care Access Act of 2022
  • H.R. 2929 — Virtual Peer Support Act
  • H.R. 5218 — Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act
  • H.R. 5407 — Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act
  • H.R. 1384 — Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act of 2021
  • H.R. 2067 — MATE Act of 2021
  • H.R. 4944 — Helping Kids Cope Act
  • H.R. 2376 — Excellence in Recovery Housing Act
  • H.R. 7232 — 9–8–8 and Parity Assistance Act of 2022
  • H.R. 2366 — STOP Fentanyl Act
  • H.R. 909 — Moms Matter Act
  • H.R.1385 — Behavioral Health Coordination and Communication Act of 2021
  • H.R. 3514 — Humane Correctional Health Care Act
  • H.R. 3549 — Comprehensive Mental Health In Schools Pilot Program Act of 2021
  • H.R. 5469 — FOSTER Act
  • H.R. 6279 — Opioid Treatment Access Act of 2022
  • H.R. 5934 — Supporting Healthy Mothers and Infants Act of 2021
  • H.R. 5950 — Improving Patient Access to Care and Treatment (IMPACT) Act
  • H.R. 792 — Barriers to Suicide Act
  • The Social Media and Pediatric Mental Health Working Group (not yet introduced)

Administration Releases Resources for Mental Health Parity Compliance

The Biden administration has released three resources that will help certify that insurers comply with existing mental health parity requirements. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires that insurers do not apply more restrictive financial requirements and treatment limits to mental health or substance abuse disorder benefits than to medical or surgical benefits. The Biden administrations says insurers and health plans aren’t complying with the law. The White House has pushed Congress to update the law, but, in the meantime, it has released three tools to improve enforcement:

With these resources, families will learn their consumer rights and lawmakers will be able to advocate more effectively for the health and well-being of their constituents.

Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act Introduced

On April 26, Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Fred Upton (D-Mich.) introduced the bipartisan Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act of 2022, which will improve collaboration between the social sector and the federal government. The bill would create a White House Office on Nonprofit Sector Partnership, housed in the Executive Office of the President. A nonprofit advisor, serving as an assistant to the president, would influence policy relating to the nonprofit sector. That position would establish an online portal that would allow charities to register for fundraising opportunities across multiple states simultaneously. The bill would also create two entities that would weigh in with recommendations on how to strengthen the nonprofit sector:

  • Interagency Council on Nonprofit Sector Partnership
  • Advisory Board on the Nonprofit Sector

Finally, the bill would also require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile and release quarterly economic data about nonprofit organizations, allowing regular updates on the health of the nonprofit sector, the third largest sector in the economy.

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Social Current activates the power of the social sector by bringing together a dynamic network of human/social service organizations and partners. Leveraging the collective experience of the field and research, we energize and activate the sector and drive continuous evolution and improvement. Together with our network, Social Current amplifies the work of the social sector through collaboration, innovation, policy, and practice excellence. We offer access to intellectual capital of thousands of professionals within our network through peer groups, learning opportunities, collective advocacy, individualized consultation, tools, and resources that address the sector’s most critical challenges. Together, we will fuel each other’s knowledge, expertise, and experience to spark a real and lasting impact.