Seven Pro-Free Speech Provisions in Omnibus and Tax Extenders Deal

Alexandria, VA – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), America’s largest nonprofit working to promote and defend First Amendment rights to free political speech, assembly, and petition, today released a fact sheet praising seven provisions in the Omnibus appropriations and tax extenders bills that protect or enhance First Amendment free speech and association rights.

To read CCP’s fact sheet, click here. Among other things, provisions in the bills would:

  1. Prevent the IRS from writing new regulations to limit political speech by nonprofit groups. (Section 127 on Page 472 of the Omnibus)
  2. Clarify that the IRS should not apply the Gift Tax to donations to any nonprofit advocacy organization. (Section 408 on Page 215 of the Tax Extenders legislation)
  3. Bar the SEC from writing regulations mandating companies report to the agency their contributions to tax-exempt organizations, dues paid to trade associations, or political contributions. (Section 707 on Page 1,982 of the Omnibus)
  4. Bar the President from issuing an executive order to require government contractors to report their political contributions as a condition of bidding on a contract. (Section 735 on Page 589 of the Omnibus)

“Each of these measures would provide important new protections for First Amendment free speech rights. These outstanding new speech provisions will further advance protections for individuals and groups that speak out about government policies and candidates,” said CCP President David Keating. “The IRS and the SEC have little understanding of First Amendment rights, and we should not task them as our speech police.”

“We are disappointed that the provision eliminating coordination restrictions between candidates and political parties was not included, but we are confident such a change will happen soon. It is not a matter of if it will become law, but when,” added Keating.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.