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Democrats Deny Protections for Religious Organizations

During today’s debate of H.R. 2694, Democrats opposed an amendment offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee, that would protect religious organizations from being forced to make employment decisions that conflict with their faith. 

“Republicans support protections in federal law for pregnant workers, and we believe employers should provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.
 
“I support the provisions in H.R. 2694 which were previously outlined during the general debate. I also recognize that the improvements to the bill were the result of bipartisan negotiations, and I commend Chairman Scott for his outreach in this regard.

“Unfortunately, despite our agreement on these changes, there remains an important outstanding issue that must be resolved. The bill before us today does not include a narrow but long-standing provision from the Civil Rights Act that protects religious organizations from being forced to make employment decisions that conflict with their faith. The Motion to Recommit adds this important protection.

“This very limited provision is already in current law, and it allows religious organizations to make religiously-based employment decisions.

“Without this long-standing Civil Rights Act provision, H.R. 2694 will create confusion and legal risk for religious organizations in their religiously-based employment decisions…”

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