WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and their colleagues to introduce the LIFTing Local Communities Act to make it easier for faith-based organizations to apply for, and receive, government grants and other types of funding without fear of arbitrary religious limitations and vindictive litigation. Faith-based organizations are some of our nation’s best social service providers, but they often face unjust barriers and uncertainty when applying to administer federally funded services in their communities. Lankford and Rubio were joined by Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Rick Scott (R-FL) are cosponsors of the bill.
“Faith-based nonprofits serve families and individuals all across our nation as one of our most important social safety nets.” The US Supreme Court continues to affirm that faith-based organizations cannot be prohibited from living their faith and partnering with their government simply because of their religious identity. I will continue to champion legislation that seeks to ensure our faith-based nonprofits can serve equally alongside secular entities around the country so no one who needs help is left behind,” said Lankford.
“Churches and other faith-based organizations play a vital role in lifting up their communities. These organizations should not be discriminated against because of their faith or held back by bureaucratic red tape. This bill would ensure that faith-based organizations do not have to compromise their beliefs to provide critical social services to those in need,” said Rubio.
“Religious organizations should be allowed to serve their communities without being punished on account of their convictions. This bill will shield organizations helping the most vulnerable from left-wing activists seeking to drive them out of the public square,” said Hawley.
“Every day the Biden administration persists in its efforts to roll back protections for religious organizations. It’s not right. The Lifting Local Communities Act would protect religious organizations from the unfair policies that subject them to requirements that secular organizations don’t have to worry about. This bill would codify the right of faith-based organizations to do their work without the government threatening their religious liberties,” said Hyde-Smith.
“Faith-based organizations are constantly responding to crises within our communities, yet they often face difficulties seeking federal resources. This bill will ensure they do not face federal discrimination for their deeply-held religious beliefs, enabling them to continue uplifting local communities across the nation,” said T. Scott.
“It’s critical that religious organizations be able to keep their federally-funded social services protections, without having to compromise their religious beliefs and actions based on which administration is in office. Faith-based organizations, whom serve the most vulnerable among us, deserve the same rights as secular organizations, and should not worry about being stripped of their name, structure or practices because of their beliefs. This bill is vital and would ensure that these organizations’ religious protections remain and would prohibit the government from discriminating against these religious entities any further,” said Inhofe.
“During my years as both Governor and Florida’s U.S. Senator, I’ve seen the incredible positive impact that faith-based groups and charities have on Florida’s families and communities in times of need. These groups deserve more of our support, not less. The Lifting Local Communities Act ensures that federal grant programs respect the First Amendment and do not unfairly discriminate against religious groups that dedicate themselves to serving others,” said R. Scott.
The bill is supported by several organizations, including CatholicVote, First Liberty Institute, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Heritage Action, and Family Research Counil.