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January 17, 2024 | Press Releases

Steube, Rubio and Colleagues Introduce the Safeguarding Charity Act 

Legislation Protects the Independence of Our Nation’s Non-profit Organizations

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) today introduced the Safeguarding Charity Act to clarify that tax-exempt organizations should not be treated as recipients of federal financial assistance. The legislation protects tax-exempt organizations from a perilous line of litigation in federal courts that could subject every church, non-profit, and private school in America to burdensome federal regulations.

“Due to multiple, radical judicial decisions targeting religious schools, Congress must now codify that an organization holding tax-exempt status is not to be considered as a recipient of federal financial assistance,” said Rep. Steube. “The Safeguarding Charity Act will help prevent the weaponization of our judicial system against America’s houses of worship, religious schools, charities, and other non-profit organizations. These organizations should not be subjected to a series of laws and regulations triggered by receipt of federal financial assistance. I thank Senator Rubio for his partnership on this issue.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

“Civic organizations like churches, schools, and charities are crucial to our communities. I remain concerned by recent court decisions that could subject these organizations to burdensome federal regulations simply because they are tax-exempt. My Safeguarding Charity Act would protect these organizations from the government’s politicized battles so they can continue their vital work in our communities,” said Senator Rubio.

Steube and Rubio were joined in their efforts by Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Representatives Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Ben Cline (R-Va.), Troy Nehls (R-Texas), and Randy Weber (R-Texas).

“We need to protect our charitable organizations, private schools, and churches from being targeted by the federal government due to their tax-exempt status and beliefs,” said Senator Braun.

“I am pleased to join my congressional colleagues in ensuring that churches, non-profits, and private schools throughout the United States remain free of burdensome federal regulations,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn. “Congress must remain committed to the protection of houses of worship as well private entities from perilous government overreach. It is past time that legislation is enacted to clarify the independence of tax-exempt organizations, from those receiving federal financial assistance.” 

“I am proud to join Congressman Steube and Senator Rubio in co-sponsoring the Safeguarding Charity Act. This legislation ensures that tax-exempt organizations, such as non-profits, religious organizations, and private schools, are not subject to burdensome reporting requirements and a politicized Biden Administration,” said Congressman Ben Cline. “In a recent attack against private religious schools, leftist courts have decided organizations with a tax exemption status are considered as receiving federal funds, which would trigger overburdensome compliance requirements for organizations that have historically been exempt from following, including private schools, churches, and other non-profits. I look forward to working with Congressman Steube and Senator Rubio to ensure the passage of this important legislation.”

Supporting organizations include: Alliance Defending Freedom, The Philanthropy Roundtable, Americans for Prosperity, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, The General Council of the Assemblies of God, Religious Freedom Institute, Council for American Private Education, Coalition for Jewish Values, International Alliance for Christian Education, Association of Classical Christian Schools, Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty, Association for Biblical Higher Education, American Association of Christian Schools, Association of Business Administrators of Christian Colleges, Association of Christian Schools International, United Pentecostal Church International, Family Research Council, Citygate Network, Seventh-day Adventist Church – North America, Napa Legal Institute

Read the bill text here.