FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2021

CONTACT
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Phone: 202-417-0171

House Passage of Build Back Better Act A Major Win For Working Families, Religious Freedom
The historic bill ensures funding reaches those most in-need, includes non-discrimination protections

WASHINGTON—Religious activists are celebrating today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives, calling the vote a major victory for working families of all faiths and none. Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement praising the bill:

While religious freedom may not be the first issue that comes to mind when thinking about the Build Back Better Act, this historic investment in our nation’s social programs also protects the boundaries between religion and government, ensuring that taxpayer dollars go where they’re most needed.

One of the bill’s most critical investments is in childcare, an essential resource for working families. In order to receive funding, providers must comply with federal nondiscrimination statutes. Certain conservative faith groups are pushing the narrative that religious organizations oppose these nondiscrimination provisions, but nothing can be further from the truth. No child should be unsafe or unwelcome because of who they are or what they and their family believe, and these requirements help ensure that tax dollars do not fund discrimination.

The bill also contains provisions that enable childcare providers to modernize, renovate, or improve their facilities. Consistent with longstanding federal requirements, all eligible providers may apply for these grants – including both secular and religiously affiliated groups – with language ensuring that these funds not be used for purposes beyond their intent. This small but necessary clarification protects our longstanding wall of separation between religion and government.

As Americans across the country continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to focus our resources where they are needed most. The Build Back Better Act does just that. The Senate must pass this historic legislation in its current form.

If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance on this issue, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or [email protected].

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Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.