Sending Office: Honorable Mark Pocan
I invite you to join me in sending a letter to the Conference Committee currently negotiating the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” H.R. 1, in opposition to rolling back the Johnson Amendment.
The House passed “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” repeals the Johnson Amendment, while the Senate bill leaves this important provision in place. Thousands of religious groups, nonprofit entities, and an overwhelming percent of the American population oppose this
Studies have shown that 79% of Americans oppose political endorsements from churches. Currently, individual pastors and clergy are currently free to personally endorse and support candidates- and frequently do so. Repealing the Johnson amendment could convert
Our nation was founded on basic principles of separate of church and state- repealing the Johnson Amendment clearly crosses this line and will only continue the spread of money in politics.
Rep. Mark Pocan
We write to express our concern regarding the harmful language in section 5201 of H.R. 1, which would permit all 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including churches, to engage in partisan political activity while maintaining their tax-exempt status. This unpopular
The Johnson Amendment ensures that charities are not able to use tax-exempt funds for political purposes. Under the existing tax code, churches and tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofits may not endorse or oppose political candidates. They may discuss and advocate
The Johnson Amendment is very popular among religious Americans, nonprofits, and the public generally. Poll after poll shows that the American people want to keep politics out of their nonprofit boardrooms and pulpits. According to Lifeway Research,
We fear that the consequences of repealing this amendment, which has been pushed by a vocal minority in spite of strong contrary public opinion, have not been fully considered. The unintended impacts of eliminating the Johnson Amendment are far-reaching
To fulfill the goals of transparency and accountability, 501(c)(3) nonprofits are required to file an annual report with the IRS that details specific financial information, and every penny donated to and spent by the organization is tracked by Form
Without the Johnson Amendment, any donor could write a check to the nearest church for any amount, earmark the donation for politicking, and take the tax write-off. The church could then spend the donation on anything, including politicking. Churches
The de minimis limiting language in the bill attempts to minimize the impact of the broader provision impacting the Johnson Amendment, but the language is so vague and broad that it is almost meaningless. The provision offers no threshold or guidance
Equally important, the de minimis will require the IRS to look into the church finances to determine whether or not the expenditure was tiny relative to the overall budget. Thus, repealing the Johnson Amendment will undoubtedly lead to greater oversight
The Johnson Amendment is an important safeguard that ensures tax-deductible charitable donations, meant to serve the community, go to charitable works rather than political campaigns. Accordingly, we urge you to remove Section 5201 of H.R. 1 from the
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