Action Alert: Preserving Nonprofit Nonpartisanship
Update 10/1/18: The House recessed for the November elections before the House-Senate conference committee could resolve differences over the spending bill (H.R. 6147) that contains the anti-Johnson Amendment rider. The bill is now on hold until the post-election lame-duck session while the Treasury Department, the IRS, and several other departments are funded temporarily through a “continuing resolution” that expires December 7. Nonprofits will face the same challenges to the language harmful to nonprofit nonpartisanship when Representatives and Senators return to negotiate the spending bill after the elections.
Please join us in reaching out to Senator Susan Collins and Representative Chellie Pingree to urge them to fight hard against efforts to weaken the Johnson Amendment!
The Maine Association of Nonprofits 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 demanding endorsements and other forms of campaign support.
That law is at risk this month, and both Senator Susan Collins and Representative Chellie Pingree are in key positions to protect nonprofit nonpartisanship.
We’re asking for your help in urging them to stand with the nonprofit community by delivering this message:
Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations – whether churches, charities, or foundations. Oppose all efforts in conference to include a controversial anti-Johnson Amendment rider to the Financial Services spending bill, H.R.6147.
You can contact them by phone or tweet (see below). Better yet, please do both. Then let us knowyou’ve made the contact and also forward this message to others in your network.
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.
Both Senator Collins and Congresswoman Pingree have been named to the conference committee that will be meeting any time. It is imperative that they understand that the vast majority of the charitable, religious, and philanthropic community in Maine and across the country strongly oppose the anti-Johnson Amendment language in H.R. 6147 and that we’re counting on them, as conferees, to work to ensure it is not included in the bill that comes out of conference.
You can learn more about this important issue at www.GiveVoice.org.
Take Action Now
1. Call Senator Collins + Representative Pingree
NOTE: Studies show that calls to congressional offices are the most effective means of constituent advocacy – so make the calls first before taking other actions!
Sample Script: “Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations – whether churches, charities, or foundations. Please oppose all efforts in conference to include a controversial anti-Johnson Amendment rider to the Financial Services spending bill, H.R.6147.
Senator Susan Collins:
Washington, D.C. (202) 224-2523
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree:
Washington, D.C. (202) 225-6116