Rep. Kelly Applauds HHS Action in Support of Faith-based Foster Care Providers

Jan 23, 2019

In response to plea from governor, Trump administration gives protection to South Carolina faith-based Child Placing Agencies

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – Ranking Member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight – issued the following statement today in praise of the decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to grant a request by the state of South Carolina to protect the religious liberty of its faith-based foster care providers.

Statement by Ranking Member Kelly:

“I applaud the Trump administration’s decision to grant South Carolina’s request to protect the religious liberty of its faith-based foster care providers. However, there is still an urgent need to fully protect all faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in every corner of our country from unfair discrimination by states and localities. In Pennsylvania, faith-based agencies are currently being told to change their sincerely-held religious beliefs or shut down.  I thank the administration for taking this important first step to protect the tremendous work done by faith-based agencies. This is about putting children first.”

Statement by Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX):

“Faith and family are bedrocks of American society, and our policies need to promote and protect these important institutions.  I applaud this Administration for standing up for these principles by continuing to ensure religious groups can continue to help our country’s most vulnerable find safe and loving homes.  We know there is still work to do, and I stand committed to fighting for every foster and adoptive child and those parents seeking to grow or start a family.”

NOTE: Governor Henry McMaster’s (R-SC) statement on the HHS announcement can be viewed here. A copy of the letter from HHS’s Administration of Children & Families granting his waiver request can be viewed here.

BACKGROUND: Rep. Kelly and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) have introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (also known as “the Inclusion Act”) in each of the last three Congresses to prohibit government discrimination of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies because of their religious beliefs. On May 23, 2018, he sent a letter to President Trump with 79 other Members of Congress requesting federal protections for these agencies.