WASHINGTON, D.C.—Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) made the following statement regarding the executive order promoting free speech and religious liberty signed by President Trump today:
“I applaud President Trump’s executive order to promote free speech and religious liberty. In affirming this administration’s policy of protecting and promoting religious freedoms, the White House takes a strong stand in favor of one of our most fundamental values. Today, on the National Day of Prayer, this order serves as a reminder that religious liberty is central to who we are as a nation, and that our rights—including the First Amendment right to practice one’s faith—come from God, not from government.
“This order stands up for pastors, churches, and other non-profit organizations by protecting them from IRS abuse under the auspices of the Johnson Amendment. It follows in the footsteps the Free Speech Fairness Act, legislation I introduced with Senator James Lankford and Representative Jody Hice, to prevent unelected bureaucrats from having the ability to sanction or stifle the free speech of religious leaders. No American should ever suffer from religious discrimination, and this order takes further steps to prevent this from happening at the hands of their government.”