Protecting Non-Profits & Churches from IRS Overreach

Senator Roy Blunt
2017-02-08 15:30:35
Roy Blunt, US Senator for Missouri Dear Unity, Americans should never have to worry about the Internal Revenue Service coming after them for exercising their First Amendment rights. But in May of 2013, the Obama administration�s IRS admitted to inappropriately targeting and applying excessive scrutiny to conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. I was outraged over the IRS�s blatant overreach and political targeting.� Our First Amendment rights to speak freely and exercise our faith are fundamental to who we are as Americans. There is a reason that religious freedom is the first freedom listed in the first sentence of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and it�s critical that we continue to protect this right. Unfortunately, a provision that then-Senator Lyndon Johnson placed in the Tax Code in 1954 has meant that churches and other tax-exempt organizations can be punished by the IRS for speaking out on some of the most important questions facing our country today. That�s why I recently became a cosponsor of the �Free Speech Fairness Act.� This bill would allow non-profit organizations, including churches, to engage in political speech as long as it is not a significant part of the organization�s activities and is done in the course of normal operations. I�m glad that President Donald Trump agrees with strengthening First Amendment protections for non-profit organizations, and I�ll continue urging my colleagues to stand with faith-based communities and support this bill. Sincere regards, [image = blunt.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/RDB_Signature.jpg]

Dear Unity,

Americans should never have to worry about the Internal Revenue Service coming after them for exercising their First Amendment rights.

But in May of 2013, the Obama administration�s IRS admitted to inappropriately targeting and applying excessive scrutiny to conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. I was outraged over the IRS�s blatant overreach and political targeting. 

Our First Amendment rights to speak freely and exercise our faith are fundamental to who we are as Americans. There is a reason that religious freedom is the first freedom listed in the first sentence of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and it�s critical that we continue to protect this right. Unfortunately, a provision that then-Senator Lyndon Johnson placed in the Tax Code in 1954 has meant that churches and other tax-exempt organizations can be punished by the IRS for speaking out on some of the most important questions facing our country today.

That�s why I recently became a cosponsor of the �Free Speech Fairness Act.� This bill would allow non-profit organizations, including churches, to engage in political speech as long as it is not a significant part of the organization�s activities and is done in the course of normal operations.

I�m glad that President Donald Trump agrees with strengthening First Amendment protections for non-profit organizations, and I�ll continue urging my colleagues to stand with faith-based communities and support this bill.

Sincere regards,

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