Churches should have the First Amendment right to endorse political candidates and still keep their tax-free status, say House Republicans, who quietly tucked a provision into a sweeping spending bill that would deny the IRS money to enforce the 63-year-old law prohibiting such outright politicking from the pulpit. Republicans repeatedly have failed to

scrap the law preventing churches and other non-profits from backing candidates, so now they are trying to starve it. With little fanfare, a House Appropriations subcommittee added the IRS measure to a bill to fund the Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies.The subcommittee passed the bill Thursday. Republicans say the law is enforced unevenly, leaving religious leaders uncertain about what they are allowed to say and do. READ MORE