Summary

2/13/2013--Passed House without amendment. (This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on Feb 13, 2013 but was never passed by the Senate.

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to clarify that houses of worship are eligible for certain disaster relief and emergency assistance on terms equal to other eligible private nonprofit facilities, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following: (1) Hurricane Sandy inflicted catastrophic damage in the Northeastern United States. (2) Houses of worship across the Northeast's many faiths and denominations were among the private nonprofit facilities that sustained damage. (3) Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other houses of worship throughout communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and elsewhere play an essential role in the daily lives of the communities. (4) The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) public assistance program provides financial grants for the repair of various types of private nonprofit facilities. (5) Among the types of nonprofits to which FEMA provides such grants are those in which citizens gather and engage in a variety of educational, enrichment, and social activities. These activities are essential to community building and occur in houses of worship. (6) Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), FEMA's disaster relief program is a general government program under which assistance is provided in the wake of a natural...

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Sentiment Map

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Nation

29 Supporting
88 Opposing
25% 75%

State: CA

1 Supporting
2 Opposing
33% 67%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
1 Opposing
0% 100%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

FedCURE supports this needed legislation, as faith-based community organizations are best situated to provide first assistance in disater areas. http://www.FedCURE.org

Organizations Opposing

The American Humanist Association sympathizes with religious organizations that lost property in the recent hurricane, but strongly opposes efforts such as this bill which would cause government money to go to churches to build explicitly religious structures. Efforts to weaken the wall of separation between church and state must be opposed, and churches must rely on donations and other means to rebuild explicitly religious structures that were damaged.

February 12, 2013—Tomorrow Congress is quietly attempting to sneak through a bill that would allow federal grant money to go directly to the brick and mortar rebuilding of churches and other houses of worship. Despite its unconstitutionality, lawmakers tomorrow will consider HR 592—a bill to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, to allow houses of worship to directly receive taxpayer dollars. There’s a reason houses of worship are prohibited. This bill would reverse years of Supreme Court precedent and directly conflict with the First Amendment to the Constitution. Additionally, permitting public grants for churches and other houses of worship would unfairly privilege religious institutions above secular institutions, many of which are not eligible for the grants. This bill comes two weeks after churches were granted special exemptions from a law requiring coverage of contraceptive services. Churches are attempting to have their cake and eat it too. They want to choose when they must comply with a law and when laws must comply with them. Passage of the bill would create unfair advantages for religious institutions—and in effect, a government endorsement of religion—because these institutions are exempt from paying taxes, offering financial transparency and filing the same paperwork as secular organizations, but would still benefit from public tax dollars Tell Congress, not so fast! Will you send a letter to your Representative urging him or her to vote no on this bill right now? Tell your Representative to vote “no” on HR 592. http://action.secular.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12506

February 11, 2013 Dear Representative: On behalf of Interfaith Alliance, I write to express our opposition to H.R. 592, the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013. This legislation would “amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to clarify that houses of worship are eligible for certain disaster relief and emergency assistance on terms equal to other eligible private nonprofit facilities.” Interfaith Alliance strongly opposes this bill and any attempts to grant federal funds to rebuild houses of worship—even those damaged by natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy—because doing so sets in motion a violation of religious liberty that ultimately hurts a house of worship more than helps it. Hurricane Sandy’s tragic impact reminds us of the aftermath of far too many other natural disasters. As a Baptist minister to a congregation in Monroe, Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina in particular is on the forefront of my mind. In times such as these, there is an understandable, compassion-based temptation to steer federal funds to houses of worship that have been damaged, but it is a temptation we must resist. An act of compassion must not be allowed to erode our historic Constitution. The independence of houses of worship from the government regulations which accompany government funds is more important than federal dollars with which to do reconstruction. Becoming dependent on or indebted to our government’s financial benevolence is far from being in a house of worship’s best interest. The autonomy of religious institutions—and religious leaders—from the government coffers and the government’s regulation is what enables religion to flourish and enables clergy to speak truth to power as a prophetic voice to our government. Interfaith Alliance has long been critical of efforts to funnel tax dollars to religious institutions whether through the faith-based initiative or in emergency situations like this—even in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—because of reverence and respect for these important institutions in our society. To steer such money to religious institutions clearly violates the boundaries between religion and government, and opens the door to government intrusion into the affairs of houses of worship. Making an exception in this case will only result in damaging a principle that has ensured the ability of diverse faith and belief to flourish in this country for centuries. Furthermore, to imply as this bill does, that a house of worship “provides essential services of a governmental nature,” does a disservice to religious institutions. There is no doubt in my mind that houses of worship are essential. They are not however “of a government nature,” and to imply otherwise is to challenge the independence and integrity of these institutions. Houses of worship often provide critical services to their communities and, even while sometimes done in partnership with government, this work is rooted in their faith, in their religious teachings, not in being an extension of government. Government can do so much to help communities recover from these tragedies and so much has been learned from the mistakes made in the wake of Katrina. But to violate a principle inherent in the foundation of our religious freedom would be a disservice to all Americans, including those whose places of worship have been impacted by natural disasters. (Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional Office.)

Interfaith Alliance 2 years ago

February 12, 2013 Dear Representative: On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-partisan organization with more than a half million members, countless additional activists and supporters, and 53 affiliates nationwide dedicated to the principles of individual liberty and justice embodied in the U.S. Constitution, we are writing to urge you to vote “NO” on H.R. 592 when the measure comes up on the suspension calendar on Wednesday. This bill, which would authorize FEMA to provide houses of worship with direct grants of taxpayer funds, would flout longstanding constitutional law and harm religious liberty. The Supreme Court has recognized that the First Amendment was devised to prohibit “[t]he imposition of taxes to . . . build and maintain churches and church property,” because such funding is an affront to “individual religious liberty.”1 Accordingly, longstanding Court precedent specifically holds that taxpayer funds cannot go to construct, rebuild, or repair buildings used for religious activities — which clearly includes houses of worship.2 The Court has never retreated from this bedrock Establishment Clause principle. In fact, the Supreme Court continues to recognize “‘special Establishment Clause dangers where the government makes direct money payments to sectarian institutions,’”3 which is exactly the use of taxpayer funds at issue here. And in a variety of bills over the past several decades, Congress has prohibited the use of funds to construct buildings used for religious purposes. Indeed, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress again recognized this prohibition and limited green construction funding to buildings in which secular activities take place.4 Under current policy, houses of worship may obtain government loans — just not direct grants — to rebuild. All for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations — including houses of worship — are eligible to participate in the SBA Disaster Loan Program. Houses of worship, therefore, are not without government help to rebuild. Moreover, houses of worship are not the only non-profit facilities that would otherwise be ineligible for direct grants for reconstruction. Only non-profits with facilities used for emergency, essential, and government-like activities are eligible for grants. Thus, FEMA grants are not the same as “general government services,” like police or fire, which are available to every business, nonprofit, private residence, and house of worship. To say that the policy is unfair or that houses of worship are treated unequally — singled out among all other non-profits — therefore, is untrue. Although houses of worship may serve a central role in the lives of their congregants, it is impossible to see how the prayer and worship conducted in these sacred buildings is equivalent to the essential, government-like activities in facilities that would be eligible for government grants. It would be a dangerous precedent to equate religious worship with the vital services government provides. And while houses of worship may host educational and social activities, only community centers that are open to the general public on a nondiscriminatory basis,5 serve the entire community (not just congregants), and are used for a range of different activities6 are eligible for a FEMA grant. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration directed that houses of worship would remain ineligible for FEMA funds. The Bush administration respected longstanding Supreme Court precedent7 and continued to adhere to this constitutional requirement. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples were damaged in Katrina just as they were in Sandy. As an organization whose offices were closed for weeks as a result, we very much understand the serious difficulties faced by people who were impacted by superstorm Sandy — so many of our friends and colleagues in New York and New Jersey continue to deal with its aftermath. But, the harm would be compounded if this misfortune were used as a reason to erode fundamental religious liberty protections enshrined in the First Amendment. Religious liberty is one of our nation’s most fundamental values and it starts from the principle that religion thrives when both religion and government are safeguarded from the undue influences of the other. Barring federal funds for the rebuilding of houses of worship is not discriminatory or hostile to religion — it is one of the most fundamental ways we have to protect and defend religious liberty for all. Indeed, the Establishment Clause protects religious freedom by preventing the government from endorsing and funding any one religion — or all religions. Because H.R. 592 would flout longstanding constitutional law and harm religious liberty, we urge you to oppose the measure and vote “NO” when the measure comes up on the suspension calendar on Wednesday. (Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional office.)

February 12, 2013 Dear Representative: On behalf of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC), a 76-year-old agency dedicated to defending and extending religious freedom for all, I am writing to express our opposition to H.R. 592, to be considered on the floor tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13. The BJC, supported by fifteen national Baptist bodies and hundreds of congregations and individual supporters, believes religion is best served when it is neither advanced nor inhibited by government. H.R. 592, which would authorize FEMA to provide houses of worship with direct grants of taxpayer funds, would flout well-established constitutional principles and harm religious liberty. The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits government from providing outright grants or similar financial support to churches and other houses of worship. Supreme Court jurisprudence has been clear on this point, having repeatedly reaffirmed the principle that direct monetary contributions of taxpayer dollars to religious institutions create “special Establishment Clause dangers.” Simply put, we do not allow taxpayer dollars to build churches; we likewise should not allow taxpayer dollars to be used to rebuild churches. The damage wrought upon the Northeast by Hurricane Sandy is an instance in which our moral and humanitarian instincts may seem at odds with the constitutional requirement of no- establishment. Happily, we have ways to empathize with and provide aid to churches and other religious organizations damaged by the terrible storm. Repairs may be financed by denominational efforts, private foundation grants and contributions of the faithful. Additionally, insurance proceeds are available for rebuilding efforts, and churches and houses of worship may be eligible to obtain low-interest, long-term loans under the Small Business Administration disaster loan program for damages not covered by insurance. Natural disasters and other times of crisis serve as a call to action for citizens of faith. When we answer that call using voluntary, private donations, we reflect the very best of America’s longstanding commitment to religious liberty for all. Public funding of houses of worships threatens to undermine religious autonomy and impermissibly involve government in the private affairs of religious bodies. It is simply not a good idea—however our heartstrings are tugged— to give churches access to the public till. H.R. 592 would do just that, and we therefore urge you to oppose it. (Letter provided to POPVOX by Congressional Office.)

February 12, 2013 Dear Representative: Americans United writes to express our strong opposition to HR 592, the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013, which will be debated on the House floor tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13. The sole purpose of the bill is to authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue direct grants to fund the rebuilding of houses of worship. We oppose this bill because such funding would violate the Constitution and represent a significant shift in longstanding federal policy. Indeed, the George W. Bush Administration followed the policies of the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton Administrations when it disallowed FEMA grants for the rebuilding of “houses of worship” after Hurricane Katrina.1 As someone who was born and raised at the Jersey shore and whose parents are still making repairs to their home and cleaning up after the storm, I certainly appreciate the needs the community faces. But, I also recognize that the Constitution places certain limits on the government’s ability to fund houses of worship. The Tilton/Nyquist 2 line of Supreme Court cases firmly establish that it is constitutionally impermissible for the government to provide aid for the construction and repair of houses of worship. In accordance with these cases, “the State may not erect buildings in which religious activities are to take place” and “it may not maintain such buildings or renovate them when they fall into disrepair.”3 The rule set down by the Supreme Court in these cases remains controlling law as neither they, nor the principal behind them, have ever been overruled in any subsequent Supreme Court decision.4 To the contrary, in its more recent cases examining the constitutionality of government aid to religious institutions, the Supreme Court has maintained that direct money grants create “special Establishment Clause dangers.”5 Congress too just recently recognized the applicability of this precedent when it limited green construction funding in the Recovery Act to buildings in which secular activities take place. 1 Alan Cooperman, “Parochial Schools to Get U.S. Funds for Rebuilding,” Wash. Post, Oct. 19, 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/18/AR2005101801622.html. 2 Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971) (holding unanimously that a government subsidy used to construct buildings at colleges and universities was constitutional only if the buildings could never be used for religious activities); Hunt v. McNair, 413 U.S. 734 (1973) (upholding issuance of revenue bonds to finance the construction and renovation of facilities because the law included a condition barring government-financed buildings from being used for religious worship or instruction); Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973). 3 Nyquist, 413 U.S. at 777. 4 Recent federal court decisions, including Community House v. Boise, 490 F.3d 1041, 1059 (9th Cir. 2007), 567 F.3d 278 (6th Cir. 2009), apply Tilton’s holding that “to avoid an Establishment Clause violation, a publicly financed government building may not be diverted to religious use.” The only case that diverts from this longstanding precedent is one from the Sixth Circuit, American Atheists v. City of Detroit Downtown Dev. Auth. Yet, even this case does not stand for the proposition that federal grants can fund the reconstruction of houses of worship. Instead, the case distinguishes Tilton and Nyquist, arguing that the grant program before the Sixth Circuit was a “one-time grant limited to exterior cosmetic repairs” and “one-time surface-level improvements” that served a particular purpose and was very limited in scope. Id. at 298-99. 5 Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793, 819 (1999) (quoting Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819, 842 (1995)) (Thomas, J.); see also id. at 856 (O’Connor, J., controlling and concurring opinion) (describing Tilton as striking down the grant statute because it lacked a “secular content requirement”). ? Furthermore, proponents’ claims that Tilton and Nyquist are inapplicable and that Congress should instead look to free speech forum and in-kind aid cases must be rejected. The Supreme Court has squarely held that free speech forum cases are inapposite to federal aid cases6 and that money grants are distinct from in-kind funds. 7 It is also important to note that houses of worship, like most non-profit organizations and businesses, are eligible for government loans—just not direct grants—to rebuild. In addition, houses of worship are not the only nonprofits that are ineligible for direct grants for reconstruction. To the contrary, only nonprofits with facilities that are used for emergency, essential, and government-like activities are eligible.8 And, eligible facilities, such as community centers, must also be open to the general public.9 To say that houses of worship are singled out among all other non-profits, therefore, is untrue. It is similarly inaccurate to claim that FEMA grants should be extended to houses of worship because the grants are akin to “general government services,” such as police or fire. FEMA grants—unlike general government services —are not available to every business, nonprofit, private residence, or other building. Although it may not be seem easy in times of tragedy to tell those seeking aid that they are ineligible for government grants, the bar on the government rebuilding of houses of worship is an important limitation that exists to protect religious freedom for all. It upholds the fundamental principle that no taxpayer should be forced to fund a religion with whom he or she disagrees and that the government should never support building (“establishing” religion in its most basic form) religious sanctuaries. And, it protects against the government favoring, or creating the perception of favoritism for, certain religions over others. Houses of worship are special in our country and our constitution. They are both the place where worship takes place, and, adorned with religious symbols and iconography, are themselves expressions of worship. Accordingly, they are accorded special protections—exemptions, accommodations, and tax deductions. Restrictions on government funding of religion is also a special protection—they protect the conscience of the individual taxpayer, safeguard the autonomy of the religious institution, and ensure an equal playing field for all religions by prohibiting the government from playing favorites. For the reasons listed above, we urge you to oppose HR 592. (Letter provided to POPVOX from Congressional office.)

Users Supporting

I support H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because...I WANT MY OFFICIAL, WITHHELD-WITHOUT-ANY-CAUSE, i.e., ILLEGALLY-WITHHELD, FULLY-UPDATED, FULLY-AUTHENTICATED, FULLY-AUTHORIZED, FULLY-EMPOWERED ET AL., ALL INCLUSIVE, U.S. ET AL., ALL INCLUSIVE, U.S. DOD ET AL., ALL INCLUSIVE, COMMON ACCESS CARDS (i.e., one set for the Delois Albert Brassell Estate (D-U-N-S Number 831823948 and active CAGE Code 5PAZ8) and another for the Robert James Brassell Estate (D-U-N-S Number 962019514 and active CAGE Code 64WJ9)) ASAP, i.e., NOW!!!!

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NY
10
Hu7138e4i1
NY-10
1 year ago

I support H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because...fair is fair but, these buildings and houses need to be built miles from the ocean with protection against a 30ft tide surge not like the houses along NJ,NY that were almost floating in the ocean on low water. Those houses near the beach DO NOT deserve any of my tax money. What kind of idiot builds a house next to a ocean with frequent hurricanes in a flood zone without a seawall or dune????? Sandy was a weak storm nothing more than a northeaster and home that where at sea level of course were damaged.

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IN
4
Theodorus
IN-4
2 years ago

I support H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because... The more we allow faith based organizations to help means less taxpayer money is wasted!

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KY
5
Thunder7
KY-5
2 years ago

I support H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because buildings that have suffered damage from natural disasters should not suffer further and be discriminated against for the sole reason that religious practices take place in the building. The founding fathers wanted to protect people from government intrusion into their religious practices. They did not want to discriminate against people because they have religious practices. As long as aid is given to all, without regard for religion, it should not matter that religious activity happens to take place there.

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NY
5
cbschneider
NY-5
2 years ago

I support H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because... this bill should treat all equally. It should not single out any type non-profit.

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KY
4
Anonymous306048
KY-4
2 years ago

I support H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because religious institutions were harmed by the damage from Sandy just as much as other non-profits, and there is no reason that they should be prevented from getting relief. They should have the same opportunity, without any prejudice or discrimination, as other institutions. Their religious character should not be used as a reason to deny aid. Assuming assistance is broadly available, and is distributed on a religion-neutral basis, please give these vital community institutions and resources the chance to recover.

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IL
9
mikesch829
IL-9
2 years ago

Users Opposing

I oppose H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013. The passing of this bill would support institutions that care only for their own interests, not the public good. That is made evident by the fact that they not only pay no taxes but also do not divulge their assets or monetary dealings to the public. Why should they be supported by an institution that they do not support, or in any other way participate? Please do not make this law as it clearly respects an establishment of religion. Remember your oath. Thank you for your service.

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GA
5
Samueldarden
GA-5
2 years ago

I oppose H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because it violates the "Establishment Clause" of the 1st Amendment as defined by Supreme Court decisions Tilton v. Richardson (1971) and Committee for Public Education and Religious Liberty v. Nyquist (1973) -- which mandate that "the State may not erect buildings in which religious activities are to take place" and "it may not maintain such buildings or renovate them when they fall into disrepair." Our liberties as defined by the Bill of Rights are the most precious things we have and must always be protected. When you were sworn into office, you took a sacred oath to do exactly that. Please do your duty and honor it!

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NC
4
Pneuguy
NC-4
2 years ago

This bill would send tax dollars down a religious black hole. FEMA doesn't "discriminate" against churches or other nonprofits when it properly declares them ineligible to receive direct grants for disaster relief. Nonprofits, churches and businesses are eligible to apply for major low-interest, government-secured loans for losses not fully covered by insurance. Where public money goes, public accountability must follow. Yet tax-exempt churches, no matter how wealthy, are uniquely exempted from federal requirements to report on their finances to the government and U.S. taxpayers. Churches exist for the purpose of worship. Any incidental disaster relief they engage in is voluntary, and not equivalent to providing "essential services of a governmental nature to the general public," as FEMA regulations require. H.R. 592 would grant tax dollars to tax-exempt churches with no strings attached, "without regard to the religious character of the facility or the primary religious use of the facility." Tax dollars should not go to repair or build space for worship, much less repair stained-glass windows, arks of the convenant, prayer books and decorative religious icons!

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NJ
9
oscarfeliciano
NJ-9
2 years ago

I am writing you to express my opposition to the bill being proposed entitled: H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013. I feel very strongly that this bill violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution and I strongly urge you to vote against it. I feel that if enacted, H.R. 592 would place religious non-profit institutions in the unique position of getting assistance from the government without having ever contributed taxes. If houses of worship suffer damages during disasters, then it is their responsibility to repair the damages themselves using the un-taxed donations that they have already received from their congregations or supporters. Please strongly consider voting against this bill to help in defending the strong wall of separation between church and state. Thank you for your consideration and time. Sincerely, Jose G. Valdes Jr.

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FL
4
JoseValdes
FL-4
2 years ago

I oppose H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because "faith based assemblies", i.e., churches don't pay any taxes and can buy insurance like everyone else. Why should they be entitled to more special treatment?

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MO
7
scragin
MO-7
2 years ago

I oppose H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 because...These organizations pay NO taxes so why should my taxes pay to rebuild their institutions when as it is MY tax dollars are being funnelled to PRIVATE schools in my state and away from public schools against my will thanks to our "governor" while they're NOT required to adhere to all the standards now in place for our public schools and educators or any of their students required to take statewide tests either, have THEIR books publically audited or teachers board certified, etc. However, these schools also after accepting voucher money from a parent for said student and finds they're having "difficulty with that said student for whatever reason, can if they choose have them put back into the public school system and they keep the voucher funds. Real fair eh? . Neither is is using taxpayer $$$ for FEMA to rebuild churches, etc. It violates The Constitution and religious groups, churches use "religious freedom all the time to fight policy they don't like". Even non religious ones are trying to use it-I.E. Employers not complying with the BC provision in ACA? Hobby Lobby, et al?

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WI
8
FDRJFKliberal
WI-8
2 years ago

Bill Summary

2/13/2013--Passed House without amendment. (This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 - Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to include community centers, including tax-exempt houses of worship, as "private nonprofit facilities" for purposes of disaster relief and emergency assistance eligibility under such Act. Makes a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other house of worship, and a private nonprofit facility operated by a religious organization, eligible for federal contributions for the repair, restoration, and replacement of facilities damaged or destroyed by a major disaster, without regard to the religious character of the facility or the primary religious use of the facility. Makes this Act applicable to the provision of assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency declared on or after October 28, 2012.

H.R. 591 For the relief of Edi Orlando Garcia Armas. H.R. 593The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act