the house version of the bill:
Section 112 of the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill, which provides funding for the District of Columbia and various federal agencies, including the IRS, would make it incredibly difficult for the IRS to enforce violations of the Johnson Amendment by houses of worship. It would require a determination by the IRS Commissioner, notification of two committees in Congress, and a 90-day waiting period before tax exempt status could be denied. These hurdles would slow down, if not entirely halt, any investigations and further politicize them. In addition, because this special treatment applies to houses of worship and not to secular organizations, the provision likely violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
On June 13, 2018, the House Appropriations Committee took up the bill. 145 national organizations signed onto a letter telling members of the committee to oppose the inclusion of this language in the appropriations bill. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and co-sponsor Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment to strip the provision. The measure failed with a vote of 21-28.
The appropriations bill was merged with six other appropriations bills and the House adopted the bill on August 1, 2018.
The Senate FSGG appropriations bill, which passed out of committee on June 21, 2018, does not contain the troubling house language.
The Committee Vote:
Yes: Aguilar, Bishop, Cartwright, Clark, Cuellar, DeLauro, Kaptur, Kilmer, Lee, Lowey, McCollum, Meng, Pingree, Pocan, Price, Quigley, Royal-Allard, Ryan, Serrano, Viscolsky, Wasserman Schultz
No: Aderholt, Calvert, Carter, Cole, Culberson, Diaz-Balart, Fleischmann, Fortenberry, Frelinghuysen, Graves, Harris, Herrera Beutler, Jenkins, Joyce, Moolenaar, Newhouse, Palazzo, Roby, Rogers, Rooney, Rutherford, Simpson, Stewart, Taylor, Valadao, Womack, Yoder, Young