DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Sent By:
Monica.Garay@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Current Cosigners: Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, Rep. Annie Craig, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Adriano Espaillat , Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, Rep. James R. Langevin, Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, Rep. Sylvia
Garcia, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. David N. Cicilline, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., Rep. Ed Case, Rep.
David Trone, Rep. Sharice L. Davids, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Suzan K. DelBene, Rep. Julia Brownley, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. José E. Serrano, Rep. Katie Porter, Rep. TJ Cox , Rep. Jennifer Wexton, Rep. Derek Kilmer, Rep. Gilbert
R. Cisneros, Jr, Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Rep. J. Luis Correa, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. Raul Carbajal, Rep. Xochitl
Torres, Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Jerry McNerney, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Steven Horsford, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Al Lawson, Jr., Rep. Darren Soto, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, Rep. Chris Pappas, Rep.
Judy Chu, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Matt Cartwright, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Joe Kennedy

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in sending a letter to Secretary Azar and Acting Chief Financial Officer Moughalian expressing our grave concerns over the November 1st proposed rule released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) removing regulations
prohibiting discrimination in HHS-funded programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or religion.

This dangerous rule would put the health and well-being of millions of Americans at risk. While its intent is to enable taxpayer funding of programs that discriminate against LGBTQ people, it doesn’t stop there.
Under this new rule, agencies and programs that receive federal HHS grant money could refuse to provide services based on religion, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation—including to religious minorities, women, transgender people, married same-sex
couples, and LGBT children or children with same-sex parents.

We are demanding that HHS withdraw this rule to eliminate any ambiguity as to federal grantees’ responsibility to serve everyone equally.

To sign on, please contact Monica Garay with Representative Velázquez at
Monica.Garay@mail.house.gov
or Mikayla Bodey with Representative Craig at
Mikayla.Bodey@mail.house.gov
or Molly Carey with Representative Sean Patrick Maloney’s office.

 

Sincerely,

 

Nydia M. Velázquez                                                   Angie Craig

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

Sean Patrick Maloney                                                

Member of Congress                                        

 

December xx, 2019

Dear Secretary Azar and Acting Assistant Secretary Moughalian,

We write to express our grave concerns about the November 1st proposed rule released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), RIN 0991-AC16
[1]  removing regulations prohibiting discrimination in HHS-funded programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex under 45 CFR Part 75.300(c) and (d).[2]
This proposed rule single-handedly removes comprehensive protections from discrimination applied to all grants administered by HHS, thus permitting discrimination in federally funded adoption and foster care agencies, elder abuse programs, and many other HHS-funded
health and human service programs that serve millions of Americans. We urge you to withdraw this rule and halt a harmful disruption of services to children, adults and families in our country.

This rule states that by dismissing faith-based objections, the effectiveness of these programs will be reduced.[3] However no evidence exists to validate this rule or concepts that nondiscrimination protections
will result in inefficiency. In 2017, HHS sought comment from faith-based organizations and other interested parties to inform HHS on how it may best identify and remove barriers for faith-based organizations to participate in HHS-funded programs. HHS received
more than 12,000 submissions to that request yet only four submissions reported justifications the proposed rule[4]. None of these submissions provided any evidence of organizations being denied the opportunity
to compete for grants; they did, however, offer proof of these groups’ opposition to LGBTQ equality.

Importantly, the 2016 rule you seek to destabilize recognized the significant health disparities, denial of services, and economic hardships reported by LGBTQ people. To address these concerns, HHS clarified that the agency’s grantees were expected to comply
with nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when providing services. Reversing these protections would place a vulnerable population at a greater public-health risks.

Since 2017, your agency has reallocated significant resources away from civil rights and patient privacy in order to expand religious exemptions and undermine the nondiscrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act.  This is of significant concern
given your agency awards more than $500 billion in grants each year to provide critical services. These services should be available to any eligible person in need regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. Agencies getting government grants
to serve the public shouldn’t get to pick and choose whom they will serve.

Additionally, this proposed rule will allow for discrimination in adoption and foster care, starving children of a loving home. Every child deserves a place to grow that is safe, and every child deserves a family. Under this proposed rule, children in foster
will have fewer homes available to them, and LGBTQ children in foster care may face additional undue harm and instability in placement. 

We demand you withdraw this rule to eliminate any ambiguity as to federal grantees’ responsibility to serve everyone equally.

Signed,

 

________________________                                  _______________________________

Nydia M. Velázquez                                                   Angie Craig

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

 

_______________________________                     

Sean Patrick Maloney                                                

Member of Congress                                                 

 


[1] https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/hhs-grants-regulation-nprm.pdf

[2] https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/45/75.300

[4] https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HHS-OS-2017-0002-0001

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Civil Rights, Family Issues, HealthCare, Immigration

Related Deadline Information

Deadline Title: Deadline to co-sign is EXTENDED. DATE TBA
Deadline Start: 12/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
Deadline End: 12/5/2019 8:00:00 PM

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