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Gag Rule:

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.) has mangled a proposal by Rep. Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) designed to lift the IRS gag rule denying freedom of political speech to churches and synagogues

Currently, the IRS can strip the tax-exempt status of churches and synagogues that express support or opposition for a politician. Jones’s proposal would remove this power from the IRS, allowing clergymen to support or oppose politicians in church. But, ostensibly acting to advance Jones’s proposal, Thomas inserted language into tax legislation being prepared by his committee that would let the IRS keep the power to punish churches that support or oppose politicians, but to do so with graduated fines instead of immediate removal of a church’s tax exemption. Jones’s Chief of Staff Glen Downs told HUMAN EVENTS: “It is not something Mr. Jones can support.”

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