The House and Senate have passed separate versions of tax reform (see a comparison chart here). The difference between the bills must be negotiated in what’s called a conference committee made up of a dozen or more Representatives and Senators. We write asking for your help in convincing Senator Murkowski and Representative Young, as members of the tax reform conference committees, to preserve nonprofit nonpartisanship and to reject any changes to the Johnson Amendment.
Each bill contains multiple provisions that would harm the ability of charitable nonprofits to advance our missions. The most damaging is Section 5201 of the House-passed bill; it would radically change the longstanding, vital protection in law for nonpartisanship of charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations, known as the Johnson Amendment. Section 5201 would:
- Create pressure on nonprofits to endorse or oppose candidates for public office.
- Allow powerful donors to exert pressure on organizations to endorse or oppose candidates the donors prefer.
- Make political donations – for the first time ever – tax-deductible when funneled through charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations.
Here is a sample script for this important message:
“I’m a constituent and I’m calling in opposition to a very harmful provision in the tax bill that would weaken the Johnson Amendment and politicize charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations against our wishes. The harmful provision is Section 5201 of the House-passed tax bill that is now in a conference committee with the Senate. It is imperative that Senator Murkowski/Representative Young understand that the Johnson Amendment language in the House bill must be stripped from the final bill. Thank you.”
Opportunities to learn more:
- Join us for our Advocacy in Action call on December 13 at 9:00 am. Register here.
- Sign up for our public policy alerts here.
- GiveVoice (including history, resources, and links to statements, editorials, and op-eds from across the country)
- 5,500+ signers of the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship
- Joint article by National Council of Nonprofits and Council on Foundations
- Letter from 4,200 faith leaders
- Letter from religious and denominational organizations
- Foraker’s statement on protecting nonprofit partisanship