President Trump signs an executive order in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on May 4, 2017, asking the IRS to use "maximum enforcement discretion" over the regulation known as the Johnson Amendment, which applies to churches and nonprofits. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Church-politics provision removed from tax bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator taking part in talks on the GOP tax package says a provision allowing churches to endorse political candidates and still keep their tax-free status won't be in the final bill.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has released a statement announcing the decision by the House-Senate committee that's blending the two separate tax bills into a final package. Democrats had pushed for the move.

The tax bill passed by the House calls for repeal of the Johnson Amendment, a law that bans tax-exempt charitable organizations such as churches from participating directly or indirectly in any political campaign or supporting a candidate. Repeal wasn't included in the Senate version of the bill.


BACKGROUND: The ’Splainer: What is the Johnson Amendment and why did Trump target it?
COMMENT: Killing the Johnson Amendment is about lots more than religion