JTA: House passes tax reform that critics warn could politicize houses of worship

The U.S. House of Representatives passed major tax reform legislation along party lines that critics said effectively repeals an amendment designed to keep houses of worship nonpartisan.

The vote Thursday was 227-205, with 13 House Republicans joining all Democrats to oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Its passage represents the advancement of a key agenda item for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, CNN reported.

The Anti-Defamation League said the bill constitutes a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which bars tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing or opposing candidates. For decades, the ADL said, the amendment “has protected the integrity of houses of worship and other non-profit organizations by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing political candidates.”

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