The House Ways and Means Committee today during its markup of HR 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, approved an amendment (full text) that, if finally adopted, will expand the partial repeal of the Johnson Amendment that was in the original version, but will revert to the current Johnson Amendment after 5 years. (See prior posting.) The original version would have permitted houses of worship to include political endorsement in sermons by clergy. The amended version that now goes to the full House expands that to allow political endorsements in statements by any Section 501(c)(3) organization when the statement is made in the ordinary course of its exempt activities without incurring additional expense. Here is the amended text of the section, marked up by me to show additions and deletions from the original HR 1:SEC. 5201. CHURCHES 501 (c)(3) ORGANIZATIONS PERMITTED TO MAKE STATEMENTS RELATING TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IN ORDINARY COURSE OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES.(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 501 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
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