Congress

NEW LAW

1.     On August 16, President Biden signed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” into law (Pub. Law No: 117-169). The bill passed in the Senate on August 7, 2022.

NEW BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

2.     On August 5, Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL-2) introduced House Resolution 1314 “Recognizing the vital, lifesaving work of crisis pregnancy centers.” The resolution was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary Committee.

3.     On August 6, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced Senate Resolution 749, “A resolution recognizing the 10-year anniversary of the tragic attack that took place at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on August 5, 2012, and honoring the memory of those who died in the attack.” The Resolution passed by Unanimous Consent that same day. 

4.     On August 16, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI-6) introduced H.R. 8720, “To prohibit the availability of funds for the Department of Defense for organizing, promoting, or hosting drag shows as a means of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.” The bill was referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

5.     On August 19, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) introduced H.R. 8731, “Protect Children’s Innocence Act.” The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor.

6.     On August 30, Rep. James Comer (R-KY-1) introduced H.R. 8752, “Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act.” The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The Executive Branch

OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

Click the links below to go to the rule’s webpage, where either organizations or individuals can submit a public comment by clicking the green button labeled, “Submit A Formal Comment.”

1.     Public comments on the proposed rulemaking for ED titled, “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance” are due on or before September 12, 2022.

In this proposed rule, ED announced plans to revise its Title IX regulations regarding the scope of sex discrimination by expanding the definition of sex under Title IX to include gender identity and sexual orientation, and eliminating many of the due process protections for both complainants and respondents in sexual harassment complaint hearings.

2.     Public Comments on the proposed rulemaking for HHS titled, “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities” are due on or before October 3, 2022.

In this proposed rule, HHS announced plans to revise Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to require health care professionals to provide gender transition services, among other requirements. The proposed rule would also require insurance companies to cover gender transition services, give OCR the discretion to decide “at any time” whether a religious entity is exempt from certain discrimination requirements, and refuse to incorporate Title IX’s religious exemption for religious organizations.

OPPORTUNITIES TO REQUEST EO 12866 MEETINGS

Request an EO 12866 Meeting by entering the rule’s RIN number here.

3.     The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs will soon promulgate an Interim Final Rule, titled “Reproductive Health Services” (RIN 2900-AR57). Current VA regulations prohibit the VA from offering abortion services in medical benefits packages.

4.     ED will soon propose a “Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry Rule” (RIN 1840-AD72). Current regulations reinforce First Amendment free speech and free exercise protections for students and student groups. It also clarified how educational institutions could show they qualify for a religious exemption under Title IX.

5.     Eight federal agencies will soon propose “Partnerships with Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations” (RIN 1840-AD67). Current regulations for those eight agencies clarify the rights and obligations of faith-based orgs providing federally funded social services, including removing notice-and-referral requirements required of religious orgs that were not required of other orgs.

6.     ED will soon propose “Discrimination Based on Shared Ancestry or Ethnicity in Response to EO 13899 on Combating Anti-Semitism and EO 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities” (RIN 1870-AA15). In its abstract for the proposed rule, ED states that ED OCR has received complaints of harassment and assault directed at Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other students based on shared ancestry or ethnicity.

OTHER NEWS

7.     On August 12, the USDA published new guidance stating that religious schools do not need to request a Title IX religious exemption in writing to claim the exemption in USDA school lunch programs. See Grant Park Christian Academy v. Fried for more info. 

8.     On August 26, HHS published a press release announcing new guidance from Secretary Becerra to state governors inviting states to apply for Medicaid waivers to increase women’s access to abortion services.  

Note from the Editor: The Federalist Society takes no positions on particular legal and public policy matters. Any expressions of opinion are those of the author. We welcome responses to the views presented here. To join the debate, please email us at info@fedsoc.org.