On July 11, the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations approved the Labor, Health and Human Services fiscal year 2019 funding bill by a party-line vote of 30-22. As part of the appropriations bill, an amendment introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) passed that would prohibit state or local governments who receive federal funding for child welfare services from discriminating against child welfare providers “on the basis that the provider has declined or will decline to provide, facilitate, or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with, or circumstances that conflict with, the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” States that violate the Aderholt amendment would be subjected to a 15 percent loss of child welfare federal funding. See how much is at risk for your state.   

Similar language was introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), S. 811, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, and has support from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related agencies. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is circulating a “dear colleague” letter expressing concern over the inclusion of this amendment in the House appropriations bill and opposing the inclusion of such language in the Senate appropriations bill.  

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