Biden’s Build Back Better Bill Bars Religious Schools From Using Infrastructure Funds To Renovate, Rebuild


The Build Back Better Act pushed by President Biden and his Democratic Party has a provision that bans religious schools from using infrastructure grants to improve their facilities.

In a section dealing with child care headed, “Facilities Grants,” the bill states:

From a portion of the quality child care amount, a State shall provide support, including through awarding facilities grants, for remodeling, renovation, or repair of a building or facility to the extent permitted under section 658F(b) of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858).

Additional Uses:

For fiscal years 2022 through 2024, and in subsequent years with approval from the Secretary, a State may provide such facilities grants for construction, permanent improvement, or major renovation of a building or facility primarily used for providing child care services, in accordance with the following:

(AA) Federal interest provisions will not apply to the renovation or rebuilding of privately-owned family child care homes under this subclause.

(BB) Eligible child care providers may not use funds for buildings or facilities that are used primarily for sectarian instruction or religious worship.

“Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., offered an amendment to strike the provision called the Religious Freedom Amendment, but it failed during the Ways and Means Committee’s markup in September,” Fox News noted.

Kelly’s press secretary, Matt Knoedler, stated to Fox News, “The congressman was disappointed that Democrats wouldn’t grant such a simple request to help our children during previous negotiations. His Religious Freedom Amendment was an inclusive bill that would have given parents greater choice and allow them to pick a child care service that was best for them.”

Biden’s apparent hostility to religious organizations follows in the footsteps of his former boss, former President Barack Obama. As The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board recalled in January 2019:

One of the sorriest episodes of the Obama Presidency was the assault on the Little Sisters of the Poor for resisting ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. The sisters had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to protect their religious liberty. But anyone who thinks they are home-free underestimates the cultural imperialism of today’s American left. 

The Obama Administration tried to force the Catholic nuns and other religious groups to provide their employees with contraceptives, including abortifacients, in violation of their beliefs. In 2016 the Supreme Court removed the millions of dollars in fines the Obama Administration had threatened to impose on the nuns and kicked the issue back to the courts. The Trump Administration has since expanded the religious exemption to include the sisters and like-minded groups.

That should have been it. But progressives can’t abide that someone somewhere might not be following their cultural orders, so in December Democratic attorneys general in 13 states plus the District of Columbia sued to block the Trump exemption. On Sunday, the day before the rule was to take effect, federal Judge Haywood Gilliam of California issued an injunction to stop the exemption in the 13 states and D.C. On Monday federal Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Pennsylvania issued a nationwide injunction. … Most of this is blue-state political grandstanding designed to frustrate the Trump Administration until the next Democratic President comes to town. 

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