Chairman Scott Statement on HHS Rule to Undermine Civil Rights

November 19, 2019
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a rule to undermine nondiscrimination provisions in federally funded health and social service programs.

“This proposal to remove some of the nondiscrimination standards for both secular and religious HHS grantees is the Administration’s latest attempt to weaken civil rights protections in federally funded programs. Under the Department’s justification for the rule, organizations receiving taxpayer money could be given unprecedented power to use their religious beliefs as a basis to deny individuals access to basic taxpayer services.

“Historically, we have recognized that the victims of discrimination are those who are being discriminated against. This proposal furthers the Administration’s effort to turn that principle on its head by implying that the victims are those who are prevented from engaging in discrimination.

“It has become abundantly clear that Congress must address the problems created by Administration’s misapplication on the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act to undermine landmark civil rights laws.  That is why Congressman Kennedy and I introduced H.R. 1450, the Do No Harm Act, to prevent RFRA from being used to rollback civil rights protections in federally funded programs.”

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