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House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”