Report: Trump shift to allow political action from churches may come in tax bill

Report: Trump shift to allow political action from churches may come in tax bill

President Trump's pledge to allow churches to participate in political activity may come as a part of tax reform legislation, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Sources told the publication that the repeal of the "Johnson Amendment," which prohibits nonprofit organizations from endorsing political candidates, is being written into tax legislation that is currently developing in the House of Representatives.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse passes tariff-relief bill GOP may increase IRS’s budget Overnight Finance: Congress barrels toward another shutdown crisis | Canada worries Trump will withdraw from NAFTA | Blue-state Republicans push tax law changes | Chamber CEO calls out Bannon, Warren MORE (R-Texas) said in February that he planned to include repeal of the Johnson Amendment in tax reform legislation.

"Places of worship across America need to be free to practice their faith without worrying about Washington or the IRS targeting their religious freedom," he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "So in our Republican tax reform, we're going to repeal the damaging effects of the Johnson Amendment once and for all."

Trump has long promised to abolish the amendment, arguing that doing so would allow faith leaders to "speak freely without fear of retribution."

"I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution," the president said at the National Prayer Breakfast in February.
"I will do that, remember," he pledged.
It is not immediately clear if Trump supports the move to include repeal of the amendment in a broader tax bill.
The provision was first introduced by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) in 1954.