November 01,2019

Press Contact:

Nicole L’Esperance (202) 224-4515 

Wyden Condemns HHS Rule to Allow Sweeping Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination Nationwide

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today condemned a proposed rule by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow sweeping taxpayer-funded discrimination nationwide.

Under the proposed rule, and accompanying non-enforcement decision, HHS will allow recipients of federal funding to practice prohibited discrimination in the name of religion, effective immediately. HHS will allow grantees and funding recipients to deny services – from foster care and adoption to youth homelessness, pre-K programs, public health programs and more – on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status.

“The Trump administration is working overtime to implement cruel and discriminatory policies, and wasting taxpayer dollars in its obsessive pursuit,” Wyden said. “Under this new rule, homeless youth could be denied housing, children could lose access to early education and gay couples could be denied the chance to adopt. These examples barely scratch the surface of the countless ways families and children will suffer because of this shameful decision. Our nation is stronger when everyone has access to health care, education, housing and other essential services, not when bigots in the White House seek to divide the country and deny basic rights to Americans.”