ICYMI: Rep. Mike Kelly Questions HHS Officials on Decision to Deny Grant to U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Dec 1, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Julia Thornton

December 1, 2011

202-525-0182

 

ICYMI: Rep. Mike Kelly Questions HHS Officials on Decision to Deny Grant to U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) questioned officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about their decision to reject a grant application from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), despite the fact that the USCCB was previously awarded the same grant; that several career HHS officials recommended that the USCCB’s grant should be renewed; and that an independent review board gave them the second highest score among all grant applicants.

The grant, which is administered through HHS’ Administration for Children and Families in the Office of Refugee Resettlement, funds organizations that provide food, clothing, medical, and other material support to victims of human trafficking. The grant was first awarded in 2006 for a five-year period.

At today’s hearing, titled “HHS and the Catholic Church: Examining the Politicization of Grants,” George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, said that USCCB’s “unwillingness … to provide the full array of services raised questions as to whether they could meet the full objectives. ... The restriction was not that they were unwilling to refer to a physician but restricting what that physician could do.”

“It is obvious to me that the USCCB, despite having a proven record of providing exceptional care to victims of human trafficking, has been singled out by this administration because of its pro-life beliefs,” said Rep. Kelly. “On its face, it’s discriminatory and politicizes a grant process that should be based on merit instead of on a pro-abortion political agenda.”

 

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