The GOP Still Wants to Repeal the Johnson Amendment Through a “Must-Pass” Bill

By Hemant Mehta

Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Johnson Amendment aren’t over yet.

For more than a year now, Donald Trump has promised the Religious Right that he would sign a repeal of the rule, which forbids places of worship from endorsing political candidates if they want to keep their tax exempt status. If he were to rescind it, Christian churches be one step closer to essentially becoming fundraising arms of the Republican Party. We have no idea how much dark money would start flowing to campaigns via churches when that day arrives.

Those efforts began last year, when Trump signed an executive order claiming to repeal the rule… but it had no teeth. It was more of a performance than anything substantive.

Since then, Republicans have attempted to do the job legislatively by putting a repeal into various spending bills… to no avail. The latest attempt was thought to be via the omnibus bill passed by Congress this past March.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This strange technique used in the US parliament of attaching articles into bills to which they have no relationship, has always puzzled me. The Omnibus Bill is a money bill, so I suppose that it’s somewhat related to a taxation matter, though it is an appropriations bill, so should not be concerned with tax exemptions. Even so it is a very odd bill, covering so many disparate and important matters, which surely would require individual examination.

    Apart from the fact that bills in every other parliament have to be centred on one subject, and not include extraneous matters, what is to prevent the members from voting out clauses which plainly have no place in a bill?

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