Representative Ted Budd, R-N.C., introduced the Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations Act with 21 House members to codify a federal rule proposed by the Trump administration last month prior to the coronavirus shutdown.
The federal rule change proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations,” would remove regulatory burdens on faith-based organizations.
The bill reverses an Obama-era policy that only required faith-based providers of social services – not secular providers – to disclose their religious affiliation and refer potential clients to other providers. The bill stipulates that faith-based organizations will be able to apply for federal funding on equal footing with secular organizations.
“Faith-based organizations play an essential role in providing key services to the communities around them, including during times of crisis,” Rep. Budd said. “For example, the opioid crisis has left over 92,000 children in foster care and in need of loving homes. Faith-based adoption agencies play a pivotal role in finding homes for these children. Sadly, despite the positive impact these organizations make every day, there is an ongoing crusade to shut them down or strip them of federal funding if they continue to follow their sincerely-held religious beliefs. That is why I’m proud to introduce legislation that ensures that faith-based providers of social services are not unfairly discriminated against for their religious beliefs.”
“The Supreme Court ruled in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer that the government cannot exclude organizations and people of faith from a secular government program simply because of their religious identity,” the faith-based advocacy organization, The Alliance for Defending Freedom, said in a statement.
Budd represents North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District and is serving his second term in the 116th United States Congress.
Budd holds an MBA from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.