The House and Senate have passed separate versions of tax reform. 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 who will be named soon.
We write asking for your help in convincing all in Congress, and particularly the "tax conferees," 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 allow political operatives to pressure those organizations to endorse or oppose candidates for public office, and powerful donors to exert even more pressure by giving or threatening to withhold charitable contributions to get the organizations to endorse or oppose candidates the donors prefer. The proposed change would also make political donations - for the first time ever - tax-deductible when funneled through charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations.
The Senate respected, but the House blatantly ignored, the widespread and resolute opposition to changing the law expressed by
houses of worship
law enforcement officials
charitable nonprofits and foundations
, and the vast
majority of the American public
. As the National Council of Nonprofits has warned, "This shameful attempt to advance the self-interest of politicians for more money and control at the expense of independent civil society must be stricken from the tax bill that comes out of the conference committee."