Blackburn offers Safeguarding Charity Act

To help protect the independence of America’s tax-exempt organizations, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined several Republicans in offering legislation to clarify that certain tax exemptions are not treated as federal financial assistance.

“America’s constitutionally protected places of worship and other nonprofit entities are being unfairly targeted due to their tax-exempt status, which allows them to continue supporting charitable work in our communities,” Rep. Blackburn said on Tuesday. “This legislation would protect these organizations from undue federal regulations.”

Sen. Blackburn joined four other GOP original cosponsors to introduce the Safeguarding Charity Act, S. 3604, which U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sponsored on Jan. 17.

Introduction of S. 3604 follows two recent rulings by federal judges stating that private institutions are subject to federal restrictions due to their tax-exempt status, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Blackburn’s staff.

These rulings could lead to private schools, churches, and nonprofit charities being punished if they do not follow such regulations, the summary says.

If enacted, the text of S. 3604 says that the term ‘federal financial assistance,’ or any other term referring to assistance provided by the federal government, shall not include any exemption from federal income tax.

The bill has been referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for consideration.