• Ann Lehman

    I may be one of the very few who have long believed the Johnson amendment restricts advocacy and I for one would not mind seeing it changed. The almost exclusive focus on its impact churches misses the benefit that could come from freeing all nonprofits to comment on legislation that impacts their client communities….Ann Lehman

    • DavidLThompson

      I agree wholeheartedly that the limits on nonprofit lobbying in current law are too tight and too vague. But the lobbying restrictions have nothing to do with the Johnson Amendment. Lobbying limits are in the second proviso in Section 501(c)(3). The Johnson Amendment, which bans endorsing or opposing candidates for public office or siphoning charitable assets away from mission to fund candidate political campaigns, is the third proviso in Section 501(c)(3). To get what you propose (“freeing up all nonprofits to comment on legislation,” Congress would need to amend the second proviso. Instead, the House bill would free up churches to make candidate endorsements, which the Joint Committee on Taxation stated after this article came out would divert billions in currently non-deductible contributions to candidate campaigns, PACs, and other dark money sources into newly political churches that provide charitable deductions – a multi-billion dollar payoff to political churches every election cycle. That’s not just wrong, it’s shameful, even by DC standards.