Steube and Rubio Seek to Shield Religious Institutions from Governmental Overreach

Steube and Rubio Seek to Shield Religious Institutions from Governmental Overreach

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
January 18, 2024

US Representative Gregory Steube (R-Fl) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) have filed the Safeguarding Charity Act to protect tax-exempt organizations from burdensome regulations. 

The act was spurred by two recent Federal Court opinions in Maryland and California defining tax-exempt, i.e., 501(c)(3), entities, as receiving federal financial assistance under Title IX. 

Such definition of 501(c)(3) institutions, many of which are religious, enables the national government to impose stringent regulations and demands on them. 

According to legal experts, the courts’ decisions would “significantly impact” non-profit religious institutions, such as schools, and charities, if upheld on appeal. 

In response, Representative Steube and Senator Rubio’s act would revert the courts’ decisions.

The Safeguarding Charity Act  would codify that no institutions, including religious ones, are to be considered as receiving federal financial aid simply due to their being classified as tax-exempt. 

Via X, Steube announce the act will “protect the independence of America’s houses of worship, religious schools, charities, & other non-profit organizations.”

Steube expanded via press release, explaining the act would “ prevent the weaponization of our judicial system against America’s houses of worship, religious schools, charities, and other non-profit organizations.”

Rubio similarly expressed his concern by the recent court decisions as motivating his sponsorship of the Safeguarding Charity Act.

“Civic organizations like churches, schools, and charities are crucial to our communities,” stated Rubio. 

According to Rubio, the act would “protect these organizations from the government’s politicized battles so they can continue their vital work in our communities.”

If passed, the act would apply retroactively, ensuring tax-exempt organizations created prior to the law’s passage could also not be deemed as receiving financial assistance.  

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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