Republican lawmakers in both states are voting on amendments that would prohibit churches from endorsing or funding candidates on the basis of their faith.
The measure, known as the “Faith and Freedom” amendment, was approved in both chambers.
The Senate voted 21-13 last week, with Republican senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Thune of South Dakota voting in favor of the measure.
It will now go to the House.
The House version will not be up for consideration until next year, but Senate Republicans hope to push it through this session.
The proposed legislation is the most extreme measure of its kind in the country.
It would prohibit all government funding from being given to churches, churches or temples that do not explicitly endorse or fund candidates on religious grounds.
“Religious institutions have long been targets for government and political leaders because of their role as places of worship,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement.
“The Faith and Freedom Act would make this clear.”
The bill, which passed with a vote of 69-38 in the Senate and 42-11 in the House, also would prohibit government agencies from “engaging in activities that are designed to influence or coerce a person to support a candidate, political party, or political cause.”
The House measure would also bar state governments from giving money to religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage, abortion, or abortion rights.
The Republican-led House is expected to pass the measure this month, but it will likely face an uphill battle in the upper chamber, where Democrats are unlikely to support it.
The Republican-dominated Senate is expected next week to pass similar legislation, and it would not require a vote in the GOP-controlled House.
However, Democrats, who hold a supermajority in the chamber, are expected to block the legislation in a vote that is expected in early June.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told reporters after the vote that the Senate bill would allow churches to “support candidates on their own faith.”
“It’s not a church that’s endorsing or giving money,” Cramer said.
“It’s a church saying, ‘Hey, look, we’re going to support candidates who support our religion.'”
The GOP measure comes as the GOP holds its annual convention, where delegates will consider the party’s platform for the next two years.
The party’s primary platform was released this week and has been criticized by the ACLU, which said the platform “does not include any mention of gay rights, abortion rights, or marriage equality.”
GOP delegates are also expected to vote on a resolution on Monday that seeks to end “the War on Christmas.”
The resolution, called “A Prayer for America,” would end the practice of using the holiday as a partisan political campaign issue.
In an interview with the AP last week about the bill, Chaffetz said the resolution would not allow churches or other religious organizations to “deny services to people of any religion.”
“The resolution states clearly that churches and religious organizations are not allowed to discriminate on any issue.
That is the absolute definition of religious discrimination.
I think that’s absolutely correct,” he said.