President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a move that would fundamentally loosen the separation between church and state. The comments came a day after a trio of Republican lawmakers announced the introduction of a bill that would have the same effect, called the Religious Freedom Bill.

The Johnson Amendment was introduced as an amendment to the tax code by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1954, preventing groups with nonprofit status from participating, either directly or indirectly, in any political campaign, in support or opposition to a particular candidate. It means that church ministers cannot voice their support or opposition to a political candidate from the pulpit.

The amendment was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. Yet it is something that Trump promised to do away with while on the campaign trail, viewing it as part of what he claims is a growing assault on the freedom of religion. It was a vow he returned to Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast.

“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution," Trump said at the annual event attended by faith, political and business leaders.

"I will do that, remember."

He continued: "And the world is under serious, serious threat, in so many different ways and I've never seen it so much and so openly. The world is in trouble, we're going to straighten is out.”

With the same aim, the Free Speech Fairness Act was introduced by Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).

Hice has previously said that Islam is a “totalitarian way of life with a religious component,” and “does not deserve First Amendment protection.” Lankford has said that homosexuality is a choice and that people should be able to be fired for his or her sexual orientation.

But the introduction of the bill was welcomed by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), an international association of Christian communicators.

"For too long the infamous Johnson Amendment has dangled like a sword above the heads of pastors and ministry leaders, chilling their constitutional free speech rights,” read a statement from NRB President and CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson.

“The Free Speech Fairness Act is a fair and reasonable remedy that will ensure such leaders know they can speak as they feel called without having to worry about the heavy hand of the IRS coming down on them. I am grateful to President Trump for raising this issue to prominence over the last year, and I thank Sen. Lankford, Whip Scalise, and Rep. Hice for carefully crafting this bill. I urge its swift passage by Congress."