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H.R. 781: Free Speech Fairness Act

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About the bill

Should churches be able to endorse candidates or political parties and retain their tax-exempt status?


Since 1954, churches and other religious or nonprofit organizations have been banned from endorsing political candidates or parties from the pulpit, or else they are supposed to lose their tax-exempt status. It’s called the Johnson Amendment.

During negotiations over the Republican tax reform bill of 2017, the House-passed version repealed the Johnson Amendment entirely, while the Senate bill kept it intact. During the reconciliation process, in which the two distinct versions would be ...

Sponsor and status

Steve Scalise

Sponsor. Representative for Louisiana's 1st congressional district. Republican.

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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2017
Length: 3 pages

Feb 1, 2017


Introduced on Feb 1, 2017

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced into Congress on February 1, 2017. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.


4% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs (details)


Feb 1, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

If this bill has further action, the following steps may occur next:
Passed Committee

Passed House

Passed Senate

Signed by the President

H.R. 781 is a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 781 — 115th Congress: Free Speech Fairness Act.” 2017. November 13, 2018 <>

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