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Spending bill leaves Johnson Amendment unaffected

Good news for nonprofits: the text of the omnibus spending bill was released on Wednesday, March 21st, by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and does not include any provision to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding law that protects nonprofits, religious organizations, and foundations from partisan politics.

However, the nonprofit community must remain alert.

Because the Johnson Amendment is a stated target of the Trump administration and a number of GOP lawmakers, language threatening it may be reintroduced in this spending bill (especially if Congress undertakes further negotiations), in the 2019 appropriations process (for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1), or in other bills. It is therefore critical that nonprofits keep a close watch on their representatives.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign GCN’s letter in support of the Johnson Amendment, and encourage your colleagues to do the same.


Also, consider contacting your elected officials to thank them for keeping anti-Johnson Amendment language out of the spending bill, and ask them to continue standing up for the sector.


To call: Reach the D.C. office of Sen. Johnny Isakson at 202-224-3643, and the office of Sen. David Perdue at 202-224-3521. To reach your U.S. Representative, dial the House switchboard at 202-225-3121 and follow the automated instructions. Use the following script, and consider telling them what repealing the Johnson Amendment would mean for your nonprofit, the people you serve, your district, and Georgia:

The nonprofit community thanks you for drafting a spending bill that leaves intact the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding law that protects charitable organizations from partisan politics. We expect you to oppose any future attempts to repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment. Nonprofits are counting on you to preserve nonprofit nonpartisanship.

To email: You can email all three of your federal legislators at once by visiting democracy.io and entering your home address.