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July 17, 2017

Daily News Roundup: House Takes Step to Weaken Church-Politicking Ban

House Panel Advances Measure to Curb Johnson Amendment: The Appropriations Committee voted to keep language in a spending bill that would limit the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to investigate houses of worship for engaging in partisan political activity, reports The Washington Post. Rather than repeal the Johnson Amendment, which bars electioneering by nonprofits, Congressional Republicans are targeting enforcement of the law via the appropriations process. Read a Chronicle article on the Trump administration’s effort to loosen restrictions on politicking by churches.

Big Foundations Take Hit in $2 Billion Private-Equity Fund’s Collapse: The J. Paul Getty Trust and the MacArthur and Fletcher Jones foundations were among the multimillion-dollar investors in an energy-focused fund managed by the Houston firm EnerVest that is now essentially worthless due to debt and plunging oil prices, writes The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

Corporations Join Ranks of Obama Foundation Donors: Microsoft and energy company Exelon gave more than $1 million each in the first three months of the year to the charitable organization building President Obama’s library and museum, the Chicago Tribune reports. The firms were among more than 700 supporters listed in the foundation’s quarterly posting of $200-plus contributors.

Different Generations Sometimes Sit Uneasily at Family Philanthropic Table: The New York Times’s Wealth Matters column looks at conflicts over causes and giving approaches that can arise as the children of affluent families increasingly join their parents and grandparents in leading family foundations, and at the ways some clans are bridging those generation gaps.

How a $400 Million Gift Made Sioux Falls a Health-Care Center: The South Dakota city’s Argus Leader newspaper looks at the genesis and impact of banking billionaire T. Denny Sanford’s mammoth 2007 donation, which built a regional medical network into a national leader in pediatric care and diabetes research.

Opinion: Israel Enlists in Hungary’s War on George Soros: The billionaire financier and philanthropist, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, has given to human-rights and other groups critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to issue a statement supporting an anti-Soros campaign by Hungary’s right-wing ruling party, an Israeli journalist writes in a New York Times column.