President Trump taking his mighty pen in hand to sign yet another executive order Thursday to relax limits on participation and support for political activities by religious organizations, the White House said.
Trump plans to meet behind closed doors in the Oval Office with cardinals and Catholic leaders before signing that executive order at a ceremony scheduled to take place at the White House Rose Garden to commemorate the National Day of Prayer.
The so-called Johnson Amendment states that religious and other tax-exempt organizations in the United States are not allowed to campaign for or against candidates for political office, and if they do, they risk losing that tax benefit.
According to a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity on a conference call with journalists, the order that Trump intends to sign today seeks to relax those restrictions contained in the Johnson Amendment.
Last February, in a speech on the occasion of the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump promised to “destroy” that rule so that, as he said then, “representatives of the faith can speak freely and without fear of reprisals.”
On the other hand, the Trump order will also require some religious organizations to be exempt from complying with the requirement to provide coverage to their employees established by the health care law promulgated by former President Barack Obama.