House Renews Effort to Repeal Johnson Amendment

Thursday, June 14, 2018

We knew this would happen. Conservative GOP members of Congress, and in the House in particular, are going to use every opportunity they can find to slip repeal of the Johnson Amendment into any bill they can.  Now it's the 2019 appropriation bill.  MCF is communicating opposition to the Minnesota Congressional delegation.

What can you do?  

You are likely to see your members of Congress during the coming summer holiday breaks. Let them know what you think about the effort to repeal the Johnson Amendment.  When an issue like this comes to their attention during a parade event, when they are knocking on doors, or attending a community town hall -- they take note.  Calls to their district office  also have an impact.  When the district staff gets riled up about an issue, the DC folks take note.  Here's a link to contact information for the Minnesota Congressional delegation.  You can also learn more about the Johnson Amendment in previous MCF Policy in Focus postings (March 20, 2018March 12, 2018, November 21, 2017.)

Read this update about current action in the House appropriation committee courtesy of the national Council of Nonprofits:

The House Appropriations Committee voted down an amendment to strip an extraneous rider from the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) offered the amendment to remove Section 112, a provision that would enable politicians, their operatives, and donors to pressure hundreds of thousands of nonprofits into endorsing and diverting charitable assets to candidates for public office. The amendment failed on a party-line vote of 21 to 28 with Democrats supporting the Wasserman Schultz amendment and Republicans all voting no. The one Republican on the Committee who had voted for striking the rider last year, Representative Scott Taylor (R-VA), switched his position to no this year. Three Committee members didn’t vote: Mark Amodei (R-NV), Kay Granger (R-TX), and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD).

During the debate, the Democratic Representatives Wasserman Schultz, Barbara Lee (D-CA), David Price (D-NC), and Katherine Clark (D-MA) spoke in support of nonprofit nonpartisanship. Only Representative John Abney Culberson (R-TX) spoke against the amendment and in favor of keeping Section 112 in the bill. Representative Wasserman Schultz’s closing statement was particularly powerful, in which she states: “Let us not turn our pews into pits of partisan conflict.” Her full closing statement is pasted below my signature and a recording of the debate will be available shortly on the Appropriations Committee website, beginning at about 3:40:00 into the recording.