In small win for Democrats, the final tax bill will not include a provision allowing churches to endorse political candidates

Dec 19, 2017

By Heather Long

In a minor win for Democrats, the final GOP tax bill will not include a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, a change that would have allowed religious institutions and all nonprofit entities organized as 501(c)3s to endorse political candidates.

President Trump had strongly advocated the repeal.

Trump promised to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. Getting rid of it has been a priority of some spiritual leaders, especially in evangelical circles that have typically leaned Republican. The tax bill that passed the House in November scrapped the Johnson Amendment entirely for all non-profits, but the Senate bill did not, setting up a difference that had to be ironed out in this final week of negotiations.

“I’m pleased to announced that Democrats successfully prevented the repeal of the Johnson Amendment from being jammed into any final Republican tax deal,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. He added that he would “continue to fight all attempts to eliminate this critical provision.”

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