Ways & Means Democrats Call on HHS to Enforce Anti-Discrimination Laws and Reverse Harmful Changes to Agency Policies

Dec 9, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and all Committee Democrats sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar condemning proposed changes at the agency that would allow states and other recipients of HHS grant funding to discriminate against certain Americans and abdicate the federal government’s responsibility to serve all Americans regardless of faith, who they are, or who they love.  

Specifically, the members raised their concerns with the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend certain HHS regulations pertaining to Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards, and the associated Notification of Nonenforcement of Health & Human Services Grants Regulation (Nonenforcement Notice), in which HHS announced it would immediately stop requiring grantees to follow non-discrimination rules. Both  were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.  

“We ask that HHS provide to the Committee on Ways & Means an analysis of the scope to which the changes proposed in the NPRM would affect racial and ethnic minorities, gender minorities, children, parents, people with disabilities, the aging population, LGBTQ people, children in the child welfare system, parents in the child welfare system, and all groups of people considered a ‘protected class’ under the law,” the Ways and Means Democrats wrote. 

The members asked that HHS provide all requested information by December 31, 2019, and stated that, in the meantime, they “expect HHS to resume providing vulnerable children, seniors, persons with disabilities, and families with full protections against discrimination.”

Full text of the letter can be found HERE