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2017-12-15 digital edition

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December 15, 2017  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Law banning religious groups’ politicking survives repeal bid

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A decades-old ban on houses of worship directly involving themselves in elections has survived a repeal bid by House Republican leaders.

Jewish groups from Reform to Orthodox, and including Jewish civil rights groups, have opposed the removal, saying it would unnecessarily politicize the pulpit.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday, Dec. 14, that the effort to repeal the ban did not belong in the tax reform bill because it was not germane to tax policy.

The amendment, named for Lyndon Johnson when he was a Senate leader, was passed in the 1950s. It removes tax-exempt status from religious organizations that directly participate in political activity.

President Donald Trump has vowed to repeal it.

“This important legislation, appropriately restricting religious and other non-profit groups from supporting or opposing political candidates, has worked well for more than six decades,” Richard Foltin, the American Jewish Committee’s director of national and legislative affairs, said in a statement. “The effort to fix what is not broken was unnecessary and wrong.”

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