Countries are governed by dozens of laws and policies, and most citizens even the well-read cannot claim to know or understand all these laws. However, with the various political and economic changes happening in the USA, more and more people are finding out about the Johnson amendment. This was introduced to Congress by the then-senator, Lyndon B. Johnson and signed into law by President Eisenhower in 1954. Between then and now, few people understood what the amendment even said. That was until Republican legislators started campaigning for the repealing of the law.
Essentially, the changes that legislators want to make to the bill will mainly exempt churches from the condition required to be a tax-exempt organization. In 2015, Americans donated over a 100 million dollars to churches and church-based charities. If the amendment is repealed, it will mean that the money given to these institutions will still not be taxed, but can be used for anything from helping the needy to putting a senator or a president into office.
— End Citizens United (@StopBigMoney) December 6, 2017
One of the organizations on the front line to fight this move by Congress is End Citizens United. This is a political action committee founded in 2015, by people trying to overturn the decision by the Supreme Court in the case of citizens united vs. the Federal Election Commission. It is mainly funded by other grass root donations and in the previous elections has endorsed different democrat leaders like Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold among others.
The process to change the Johnson amendment started in September, but efforts by legislators then failed. They then tried again by altering the language in the bill, to allow these non-profit organizations from keeping the tax exemption status will avoiding the other requirement. Additionally, they are trying to a pass a bill that prevents the IRS from investigation non -profit organizations that do not abide by the law. Luckily over 100 religious groups are also siding with end citizens united to fight this change.
While this might not seem like something that may affect most American it will. The Johnson amendment ensures that tax-exempt institutions like charities and churches are not allowed to finance or campaign for political candidates. If this bill is altered, then any charity or church will be allowed to raise and funnel money for political candidates.
This amendment has for years managed to separate the church from politic and once it is repealed this separation will no longer exist. Honest religious Americans will give their donations to churches and organizations in a bid to make life better for other people, and this money might eventually be funneled into financing different political agendas. Learn more:https://actionnetwork.org/groups/end-citizens-united