Dec 15, 2017

Senate Democrats last night announced that they removed a provision from the tax bill that would have essentially repealed the Johnson Amendment.

The Johnson Amendment, a 63-year-old provision in federal law that protects the integrity of elections and tax-exempt nonprofits – including houses of worship – has been the focus of attacks by President Donald J. Trump, who once vowed to “totally destroy” it. 

Americans United Legislative Director Maggie Garrett released the following statement:

“The Johnson Amendment has broad public support, including from faith leaders, charitable nonprofits, Republicans and evangelical Christians. The American people have made it clear that they don’t want tax-exempt organizations, especially houses of worship, to be embroiled in divisive political campaigns.

“The Johnson Amendment allows tax-exempt organizations to fulfill their missions by speaking out on social and political issues. At the same time, it protects them from the corrosive influence of partisan politics by ensuring they don’t endorse or oppose candidates for public office. That’s why people across the country, including leaders from the nonprofit and faith communities, stood up to tell Congress to protect the Johnson Amendment. We call on Congress to stop trying to undermine this important law.”  

For more than 20 years, Americans United has sponsored the Project Fair Play campaign to educate faith leaders and lay people about the importance of the law.