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Thune Introduces Amendment to Protect Deduction for Charitable Giving

Thune's Effort to Increase Charitable Giving Draws Praise from Charities, Nonprofits

April 1, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune has introduced an amendment to the Democrat budget that would fully preserve the federal income tax deduction for charitable giving. President Obama's budget framework proposes reducing the deduction, which would result in less charitable giving nationwide.

"Private charities provide essential services to the most vulnerable people in society, especially when times are tough," said Thune. "Congress and the White House should continue to use the tax code to encourage private giving, not discourage it.

"The reduction of the charitable tax deduction proposed by the President would reduce charitable donations by as much as $8 to $16 billion annually. Even in these difficult economic times, generous Americans are looking for ways to help out. Congress and the White House should not stand in the way."

Last week, Senator Thune offered an amendment to the National Service Bill that would have expressed the "Sense of the Senate" that the full charitable contribution deduction should be preserved in the current form. Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated by one vote. Senator Thune's amendment was widely supported by charitable organizations and nonprofits who view a reduction in the charitable giving deduction as a major impediment to future donations.

The Thune amendment to the Senate budget proposal would create a budget point of order that would protect against any future attempt to reduce the current Federal income tax deduction for charitable donations. A budget point of order can only be waived with a three-fifths majority vote in the Senate. Effectively, this would protect charitable giving by ensuring that organizations that provide important religious, educational, cultural, health care, and environmental services are not negatively impacted by those who seek to reduce the Federal income tax deduction for charitable donations.