The Idaho Nonprofit Center and nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations across the state are steadfast in our support of the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding provision of federal tax law that prohibits candidates for public office and donors from attempting to politicize our organizations by asking for endorsements and other forms of campaign support.
That law is at risk this month, and Congressman Simpson is in a key position to protect nonprofit nonpartisanship. We’re asking for your help in urging him to stand with the nonprofit community by delivering this message:
You can contact him here:
A provision in a U.S. House-passed appropriations bill would effectively prevent the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the Johnson Amendment against churches for even the most egregious violations, including spending charitable assets to support political candidates. The Senate version of the spending bill does not include the anti-Johnson Amendment language.
A House-Senate conference committee has been created to work out the differences between the separate versions of the appropriations bill, and the anti-Johnson Amendment provision is one of the most controversial items in their negotiations.
Idaho and Congressman Simpson
Congressman Simpson has been named one of the 25 members of the conference committee that will be meeting as early as this week. Right now it is imperative that he understands that the vast majority of the charitable, religious, and philanthropic community in Idaho and across the country strongly oppose the anti-Johnson Amendment language in H.R. 6147 and that, as a conferee, we’re counting on him to work to ensure it is not included in the bill that comes out of conference.
With Congressman Simpson on the spending bill conference committee, Idaho charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations have the opportunity, and duty, to make our support for the Johnson Amendment known. Please take action now!
The Idaho Nonprofit Center has also published our own position statement opposing any repeal or weakening of the Johnson Amendment, and you can read that by clicking here.
To put this into context here are a couple of What If? scenarios that could exist if the Johnson Amendment is eliminated:
Imagine attending a nonprofit fundraising Gala and the featured keynote speaker is delivering a campaign speech. What if it isn’t a candidate that you support? What if that candidate is only speaking because the organization was “strong-armed” into allowing it? How will your perception of that nonprofit change based on the circumstances that made it possible for that candidate to garner that organization’s support?
What if you are attending a religious service and the clergy member leading it uses the time to stump for his own favorite candidate for office? Will you feel that your faith has been strengthened? How about when you get that monthly e-newsletter, and there’s a photo of your favorite religious or nonprofit leader shaking hands with a candidate you do not feel is fit for office? Would you question whether or not your investment of time and money in that nonprofit were truly being used to fulfill its mission?
Take Action Today!
You can learn more about this important issue at www.GiveVoice.org. If you are not one of the more than 70 Idaho Nonprofits who have signed onto the letter, PLEASE click here TODAY.
Excerpts from Nonprofit Advocacy Matters by the National Council of Nonprofits
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