Lankford Continues to Push for Charitable Giving in Testimony in Front of Joint Economic Committee

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s opening remarks.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today provided testimony before the Joint Economic Committee during a hearing entitled “Supporting Charitable Giving during the COVID-19 Crisis.” In 2017, Lankford introduced the Universal Charitable Giving Act, which creates a universal charitable deduction in addition to the standard deduction for individuals and married couples that do not itemize. Lankford offered an amendment to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to increase bill’s $300 limit on the charitable giving deduction to one-third of the standard deduction ($4,000 for an individual filer and $8,000 for married joint filers) for the remainder of 2020. Over 1,000 nonprofits announced their support for the amendment after it was introduced. In May, Lankford sent a bipartisan letter along with Senator Angus King (I-ME) to Senate leadership to advocate for nonprofits, charities, and houses of worship if there is another phase of relief in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lankford is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

CLICK HERE for Senator Lankford’s prepared remarks.


(1:03) Nonprofits don’t exist for a single event or single person….They exist for all people in the community. They are churches, they are synagogues, they’re mosques, they’re feeding the homeless, they are taking groceries to their neighbors, they’re paying utility bills, they are the Boys and Girls Clubs helping with afternoon activities, they are Goodwill providing jobs and opportunities and resources to people who desperately need help. They are doing work all the time, every single day.

(1:40) We have three safety nets in America. The family is the first safety net. Nonprofits are our second safety net, and government is our third. And we often look to the government to be able to solve the most difficult challenges of our safety net for people in crisis. But government is the last spot for that. The first two are essential and if the family collapse, nonprofits struggle to keep up and governments struggle to keep up…Government is efficient at writing a check. Government is efficient at developing a program to be able to facilitate activities. Government cannot meet the human needs that are there like a family can and like a local nonprofit can. So I think it’s beneficial for us in our official policy and what we choose to do in the tax code to be able to create a tax code that is encouraging to families and that is encouraging to nonprofits.

(3:19) I think that there is more that we can do and should do in the days ahead. We’ve recommended a one-third of the standard deduction. That is $4,000 for individuals, $8,000 for married filers for them to be able to write off. That is a significant encouragement. That encourages individuals to be able to do more in their local communities. To be able to make sure we are able to sustain that work of that essential safety net of not-for-profits all across our community.