(PresidentialInsider.com)- The Biden administration is at it again, doing everything it can do undo policies put in place by former President Donald Trump, seemingly just to prove a point.
According to reports, the Health and Human Services Department is apparently considering taking the steps necessary to reverse a directive that was aimed at preventing violations of people’s religious liberty.
Fox News obtained an internal draft memo that argued the Trump White House could’ve over-expanded the authority of the Office of Civil Rights when they allowed the agency to oversee the role of protecting religious liberty.
Lisa Pino, the director of the OCR, addressed the memo to Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the HHS.
The subject of the memo were two actions that the Trump administration took earlier in 2021, before he left the White House. The relate to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment. The former prohibits any federal infringement on a person’s free exercise of religion.
In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave executive agencies guidelines about the Act, contraception in insurance plans, free exercise claims and some other issues as part of the Trump administration’s attempt to strengthen protections of religious liberty.
In the process, the HHS granted the OCR the ultimate authority to conduct compliance reviews through the RFRA and “initiate such other actions as may be necessary to facilitate and ensure compliance with RFRA.”
Fox News reported that the memo said:
“Prior to the delegation in 2017, no division was singularly responsible for the Department’s compliance with RFRA or the First Amendment.
“That model recognized that all components of HHS had a responsibility for compliance and that [the Office of General Counsel] was a central partner in providing key legal advice on RFRA and defending the Department when RFRA claims were raised.
“Rescinding the delegation to OCR does not lessen the commitment of the Department to compliance, but ensures that it is not misused by any one agency to enact a broad, proactive agenda.”
During his confirmation hearing, Becerra said he’d work to protect religious liberty in the country. Now, though, he is apparently working to do exactly the opposite — and he’s being called out for those actions.
For instance, the head of the OCR during Trump’s time in the White House, Roger Severino, said Becerra is already breaking the pledges he made to members of Congress. Severino explained:
“HHS centralized authority over religious freedom claims because the laws weren’t being enforced and because that’s how we enforce every other civil right.
“Without dedicated staff responsible for investigating religious freedom complaints, HHS will return to trampling people’s rights as before — just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor.”
He concluded by saying that Becerra doesn’t have any business deciding the religious freedom authorities OCR has because he “was twice found to have violated conscience protection laws.
“Becerra told Congress that he values religious freedom and that nothing will change with OCR concerning enforcement. His actions since then prove that he lied and this move would put an exclamation point on his anti-religious hostility.”