AP

President Trump will sign an executive order Thursday designed to make it easier for religious groups to participate in politics. A senior administration official told reporters Wednesday night that the order directs the IRS to "exercise maximum discretion" in enforcing the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits groups with tax-exempt status from endorsing candidates.

  • The official said Trump's order was "about keeping his campaign promise." He pledged to "utterly destroy" the amendment on the campaign trail.
  • The order will also "provide regulatory relief" for employers that object to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, the official said.
  • The ACLU has already said it will challenge the order on the grounds that it facilitates discrimination, per CBS' Mark Knoller.

Go deeper

Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine again tests negative for coronavirus after positive result

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) tested negative for COVID-19 for a second time after initially testing positive last week, he announced Saturday.

Why it matters: 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 19,571,989 — Total deaths: 726,781 — Total recoveries — 11,939,109Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 4,997,929 — Total deaths: 162,423 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid — Democrats, and some Republicans, criticize the move
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."