WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) co-introduced H.R. 781, the Free Speech and Fairness Act of 2016.
This legislation modifies the Johnson amendment which currently prohibits non-profits and churches from engaging in any activity that might be interpreted as participating in, or intervening in a campaign on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office, including a simple oral or written statements.
H.R. 781 restores free speech and religious liberty to churches and other nonprofits by allowing them to make political statements.
Rep. Johnson released the following statement:
“Two of our most sacred and unalienable rights protected by the Constitution are the right to religious freedom and the right to speak freely without fear of prosecution. The Johnson amendment infringes upon both of these by subjecting churches and non-profits to IRS investigation and censorship depending on what they say. The fact that this amendment has been in effect for over 50 years is ludicrous. Our pastors should not be silenced, but afforded every opportunity to spread their message. Simply put, the Johnson amendment goes against our nation’s core principles and should be repealed immediately.”