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Posted: 2018-11-07 17:22:08

Nonprofit leaders are not expecting much after last night’s mid-term elections. Action will probably be as gridlocked as the Washington, D.C. beltway at 4 p.m. on a Friday.

Democrats took back control of the U.S. House of Representatives and it looks as if Republicans strengthened their slim majority in the U.S. Senate, according to Tuesday night’s preliminary returns. Divided government is likely to mean more gridlock on the federal level after two years of complete Republican control.

David Thompson, vice president of public policy at the National Council of Nonprofits, fully expects gridlock given the divided branches of government. “That isn’t a necessarily a terrible thing, especially on big issues,” he said, since nothing big can get through via reconciliation.

Thompson is optimistic about repeal of unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on transportation benefits, which has bipartisan support. The UBIT for nonprofits was included as part of the tax reform package approved in December 2017. It’s possible it could be repealed next year as part of a tax package when technical corrections must be made, he said.

Gridlock will mean that less will have to be done at the federal level, Thompson said, and instead more focus on the states. “It’s incumbent on nonprofits to tell their story,” he said.

“Bipartisan organizations like ours and other charities — we always tend to fare well under divided government,” said Neal Denton, senior vice president, chief government affairs officer for The Y.

With divided government, the work in statehouses across the country will continue to have significant importance, Denton said. Local charities and regional affiliates of national charities have an important role in ensuring strong relationships with new governors and new state legislatures, he said.

Denton expects more division in the coming two years leading up to the 2020 campaigns, making it imperative for charities to retain their bipartisan voice and work with local, state and

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