WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressmen Jody Hice (GA-10) and Steve Scalise (LA-01) introduced H.R. 781, the Free Speech Fairness Act, which would amend the U.S. tax code to restore free speech for 501(c)(3) organizations including churches, nonprofits, and educational institutions, so long as they are (1) made in the ordinary course of the organization’s regular and customary activities in carrying out its tax-exempt purpose, and (2) any expenditure related to this are de minimis. A companion bill, S.264, was introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) in the Senate. Congressman Hice released the following statement after the bill was introduced:
“Our Nation was built on the foundation that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are unalienable rights. For too long, the IRS has used the Johnson Amendment to silence and threaten religious institutions and charitable entities. As a minister who has experienced intimidation from the IRS firsthand, I know just how important it is to ensure that our churches and nonprofit organizations are allowed the same fundamental rights as every citizen of this great Nation. I’m proud that our legislation accomplishes just that, because America is stronger and better when all of our citizens are free to express their convictions. I am also heartened that President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to repealing Johnson at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast and look forward to working with him to make repeal a reality.”
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