Two Senate committees will hold hearings next week on President Biden’s nomination of Xavier Becerra to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will consider Becerra’s nomination on Feb. 23, followed by the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 24.
NRB strongly opposes Xavier Becerra’s confirmation and is actively working to inform U.S Senators of Becerra’s radical views on abortion and religious liberty.
As Attorney General in California, Becerra worked to silence David Daleiden, a pro-life activist who exposed the practices of Planned Parenthood. Even the LA Times criticized Becerra’s actions as “a disturbing overreach.” In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a law Becerra championed that would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion.
“As a proponent of partial birth abortion, Xavier Becerra would fail to represent the views of not only millions of Christians, but also the views of most Americans on this repugnant and reprehensible practice,” said NRB CEO Troy Miller. “NRB has strongly opposed his confirmation, pointing out to Senators that his confirmation could result in threats to the conscience rights of religious believers. We pray that the Senate will vote ‘no’ on his confirmation.”
In a 2017 hearing on his nomination as California Attorney General, Becerra signaled that he believes religious liberty only applies to individuals, not to private companies or institutions like Christian ministries.
“I think it is important to distinguish between protections that you are affording to the individual to exercise his or her religion freely versus protections you are giving to some institution or entity who is essentially bootstrapping the First Amendment protections on behalf of somebody else,” Becerra told California lawmakers.
Many evangelical leaders understand that Becerra as secretary of the HHS would signal a major reversal of many of the religious liberty protections for NRB member institutions that have been put in place over the past four years.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an NRB member organization, published a response to President-elect Biden’s nomination on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
Kristen Waggoner, General Counsel at ADF, tweeted her response to the nomination:
ADF had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to stop Becerra from forcing religious pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions. He is an extremist who has no regard for conscience or protecting life. There’s nothing moderate about this pick. Nothing. https://t.co/4dD3npBO5v
— Kristen Waggoner (@KWaggonerADF) December 7, 2020
NRB will continue to oppose Xavier Becerra’s nomination as we continue our work to advocate on behalf of Christian communicators.