Hoeven Joins Effort to Protect Faith-Based Child Welfare Providers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in sending a bicameral letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra condemning the recent reversal of protections at HHS for faith-based adoption and foster care agencies. Today’s effort reiterates that faith-based child welfare providers perform vital services for hundreds of thousands of children nationwide and comes after HHS announced it was rescinding waivers previously issued by the Trump administration to faith-based adoption and foster care agencies.

“We find it disturbing that one day before it released its 2021 AFCARS report, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—with your express approval— announced the rescission of waivers that were previously granted to faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in Michigan, Texas, and South Carolina,” the members of Congress wrote in their letter. “As you know, rescinding the waivers puts providers in these states in the untenable position of choosing between serving children under the Title IV-E foster care program or operating in accordance with the tenets of their faith – the same faith that drives them to serve children in the first place. HHS should be welcoming child welfare providers, not excluding them. Children are too important to be pawns in political games.”

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

The text of the letter can be found here.