Steps toward healthcare and tax reform are expected to be among the initial priorities in Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the oval office. During a webinar on Friday, representatives of Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization Independent Sector previewed what nonprofit leaders can expect early on in Trump’s presidency and detailed how the organization will engage moving forward.
Independent Sector intends to host weekly podcasts during Trump’s first 100 days in office, according to Dan Cardinali, executive director. The podcasts will be focused on providing listeners with updates on momentum on Capitol Hill and how potential changes might impact the sector. During the webinar, Heather Meade of the Washington Council of Ernst and Young previewed some developments organizations might want to look out for early on. They include:
- Quick action on the Affordable Care Act. The whole act is not repealable through reconciliation, she noted, but elements such as employer mandates and small employer tax credits – both impacting the sector – could be addressed early on. Meade said that there will likely be a run-out period of two, three, or even four years during which Republicans will determine with what they will replace the Affordable Care Act;
- Tax reform. Meade noted that it would be ambitious to take on both healthcare and tax reform in the first 100 days of the new administration. Previous proposals have all increased the standard deduction, reducing the number of individuals who would file itemized tax returns. Meade noted that this might decrease charitable giving because it reduces the number of itemizers, but there are also assumptions that — with an improved economy — giving would go up; and,
- When will we learn more about what to expect from the new administration? Fairly early on, according to Meade. Priorities will likely begin showing themselves within the first few weeks of the New Year during nominee hearings for Trump’s cabinet appointments. Though the president doesn’t typically give a State of the Union address shortly after inauguration, it is likely that Trump will be given an opportunity to address Congress at some point in February, Meade said.
Cardinali, in his introduction, addressed recent changes in the organization’s structure. Changes in organizational structure resulted in a staffing reduction of 11, down to 34 employees, and $2.5 million in savings.
Cardinali said that the restructuring is intended to provide the organization with more agility as it seeks to create a meeting ground for organizations, provide important policy information to empower organizations, and work with organizations on issues holding the sector back.
The weekly updates will look to serve all three goals, he said, noting that “We are clearly living in a time where the rules of engagement are changing.” Based on feedback to be received, Cardinali left the door open for the series to continue beyond the new administration’s first 100 days.