FIRST ON FOX: A House Republican is accusing Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sec. Xavier Becerra of continuing his pattern of attacking Americans’ First Amendment freedoms after an internal memo leaked this week revealed that the agency is taking steps to undo a Trump-era action aimed at better protecting religious liberty.
A draft memo obtained by Fox News on Wednesday shows HHS is considering revoking authority the former Trump administration delegated to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to prevent violations of religious liberty.
In October 2017, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided executive agencies with a long list of guidelines on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), free exercise claims, contraception in insurance plans and other issues in response to President Trump’s executive order demanding action on the issue. As a result, HHS granted OCR the authority in December 2017 to, among other things, conduct RFRA compliance reviews and “initiate such other actions as may be necessary to facilitate and ensure compliance with RFRA.”
The internal memo shared with Fox News argues that the former administration may have over-expanded OCR’s authority and signals intent to repeal Trump-era initiatives.
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