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June 26, 2015

House Spending Bill Would Protect Nonprofit Politicking

A spending measure approved last week by the House Appropriations Committee would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from forging new rules governing political activity by nonprofits, The Washington Post writes.

Provisions to block White House efforts to compel greater disclosure of political contributions by federal contractors and other corporations were also tucked into the 157-page bill to fund federal bodies that deal with financial services.

The Republican-led committee approved the spending bill June 17 by a 30-20 vote. The GOP has opposed IRS efforts to specify permissible political activity by 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups, which have become major conduits for campaign cash and are not required to identify their donors. If passed, the bill would render the IRS and other agencies "incapable of acting" to stem the flow of so-called dark money, said Lisa Gilbert of Public Citizen, which favors tighter rules on nonprofit politicking.

A nonprofit group created by backers of Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential bid is set to launch a $1-million advertising campaign highlighting the Florida Republican's opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran, the Post also reports. The commercial from Conservative Solutions Project, which shares a name and a founder with a pro-Rubio super PAC, will run on cable television, radio, and online outlets.