Pres. Trump weakens IRS rule against church political activity

President Donald Trump signs an executive order in the Rose Garden of the of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017, asking the IRS to use “maximum enforcement discretion” over the regulation, known as Johnson Amendment, which applies to churches and nonprofits (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is signing an executive order that will further weaken enforcement of an IRS rule barring churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates.

Trump signed the order at a White House ceremony Thursday marking the National Day of Prayer.

The executive order has disappointed some of Trump’s supporters who were hoping for a more sweeping measure.

The order asks the IRS to use “maximum enforcement discretion” over the regulation, known as the Johnson Amendment, which applies to churches and nonprofits.

Trump noted that “freedom is not a gift from government, freedom is a gift from God.”

And he insisted that no American should be “forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenants of their faith.”

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