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HHS Looks to Remove Barriers for Faith Groups, Defends Decision to Withhold Public Comments 


WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services is defending its decision to withhold some 10,000 public comments it received regarding cutting regulations for religious and faith-based groups.

"There has been a voluminous response to the [request for information], and the center's team is working through a review of the submissions," Shannon Royce, director of the agency's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said in a statement Monday night. 

In October, HHS requested public input about how it might better serve faith communities, a move that followed President Trump's signing of an executive order to promote free speech and religious freedom. 

Over a 30-day period, HHS received more than 10,000 submissions. 

So far though, it's made fewer than 100 of those submissions public, sparking frustration from critics who say the agency is hand-picking comments that support the Trump administration's agenda. 

HHS tells CBN News it's specifically looking for input on things like funding restrictions, burdensome requirements or conditions and helpful resources and tools. 
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