The Johnson Amendment has been one of the last bastions of protection for those looking to keep the vast amounts of money seen in recent years out of U.S. political elections. Introduced in 1954 by Senator Lyndon Johnson before he became U.S. President, the Amendment has been one of the least controversial pieces of campaign finance legislation in the history of politics as its sole aim was to keep charitable groups out of funding political elections and campaigns; however, the arrival of President Donald Trump in The White House in 2016 resulted in the Johnson Amendment coming under threat from the power of the Presidency. Visit fect.gov to know more.
End Citizens United has entered the fight to keep the Johnson Amendment in place in the face of an Executive Order designed to use stealth to overturn the will of the Senate in bringing this piece of legislation into law. The Executive Order signed by President Trump called on the Internal Revenue Service not to enforce Johnson’s Amendment which has basically allowed any charitable group to provide campaign funding for politicians and political parties; End Citizens United believe this Executive order flies in the face of the law and could have major consequences for millions of people living and working in the U.S.
The Executive Order signed by President Trump is not the only attempt by Republicans to remove Johnson’s Amendment from the rule of law without specifically bringing any new laws to the attention of Congress. The 2017 tax reform bill which has proven so controversial includes a specific article stating Churches and religious groups will be exempt from the constraints of the Amendment which also covers universities and charitable groups; the battle to bring an end to Johnson’s Amendment looks set to continue with the power of the religious right being used in a bid by Republicans to retain power by allowing religious groups preferential treatment during campaigning seasons.
Formed in 2015, End Citizens United has been fighting to reform a set of campaign finance laws the group feels are unfair to regular voters who are being offered political choices based on the whims of the billionaire donor class. To maintain a transparent and politically independent organization, End Citizens United operates as a traditional PAC with limits placed on the level of donations allowed by individual donors; the group has continued to fight for the future of the campaign financing system by lending its support to candidates for political office at all levels who share a passion for bringing an end to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010. Despite a financial limit placed on donors, the PAC announced it had received enough in grassroots funding by the middle of 2017 to set a campaign funding target of $35 million by the 2018 midterm elections. Know more:https://actionnetwork.org/groups/end-citizens-united