Lankford Protects Charities from Government Overreach

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Safeguarding Charity Act to protect the independence of our nation’s tax-exempt organizations. 

Two recent rulings by federal judges state that private institutions are subject to federal restrictions simply due to their tax-exempt status. This could lead to private schools, churches, and non-profit charities being punished if they do not follow burdensome and politically polarized regulations.

“Tax-exempt organizations should not live in fear of federal control every day because courts want to re-define the meaning of tax-exempt status. Tax exempt status is not the same as receiving federal funding, and it should not be used as political leverage against the nonprofits that feed, clothe, house, and counsel those in need in Oklahoma and across the nation. We should be focused on enabling the work of these organizations—not burdening them with unnecessary and costly federal requirements,” said Lankford.

“Civic organizations like churches, schools, and charities are crucial to our communities. I remain concerned by recent court decisions that could subject these organizations to burdensome federal regulations simply because they are tax-exempt. My Safeguarding Charity Actwouldprotect these organizations from the government’s politicized battles so they can continue their vital work in our communities,” said Rubio. 

“We need to protect our charitable organizations, private schools, and churches from being targeted by the federal government due to their tax-exempt status and beliefs,” said Braun. 

“The weaponization of our judicial system under the Biden administration has yielded overreaching, politically charged rulings by activist judges. America’s constitutionally protected places of worship and other non-profit entities are being unfairly targeted due to their tax-exempt status, which allows them to continue supporting charitable work in our communities. This legislation would protect these organizations from undue federal regulations,” said Blackburn.

US Representative Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the House. 

Lankford introduced the Charitable Act last year to incentivize giving to America’s nonprofits. The bill would expand and extend the expired non-itemized deduction for charitable giving that would ensure Americans who donate to charities, houses of worship, religious organizations, and other nonprofits of their choice are able to deduct that donation from their federal taxes at a higher level than the previous $300 deduction.