Xavier Becerra Should Not Lead the Department of Health & Human Services

Conservative Action Project — Monday, February 22, 2021

Washington, DC

Conservatives oppose the confirmation of Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

No federal agency has more influence over policies relating to the sanctity of life, human dignity, and religious liberty than HHS. Becerra has a troubling record on all of these fronts. He is an extremist nominee who will carry the agendas of liberal dark money groups to his administration post if confirmed.

As a former Member of Congress, Becerra voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion, against making it a crime to hurt an unborn child during the perpetration of another crime, and against efforts to bar minors from being driven across state lines for an abortion without parental consent. He has consistently voted in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions.

Later, as California’s attorney general, he repeatedly prosecuted journalist and pro-life activist David Daleiden on behalf of Planned Parenthood. Becerra led lawsuits against the Trump administration, calling it a “gag order” when an HHS rule was revised to bar federally funded contraceptive clinics and doctors from encouraging abortion or providing abortion referrals. Even after losing the case, Becerra vowed to “continue to fight for comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including safe and legal abortion.”

Becerra also spent years using the courts to torment an order of Catholic nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, to try and force them to pay for abortifacients against their religious faith. He carried out similar measures in California, where he sued the federal government to protect a California regulation forcing churches to pay for abortions in their health care plans.

Such actions are consistent with Becerra’s distorted view of religious liberty, which he has stated he believes is “for the individual,” and that organizations or institutions staking a claim to religious liberty is “bootstrapping the First Amendment.” Becerra’s advocated for one-sided restrictions prohibiting churches from meeting indoors, while grocery and liquor stores remained open. The Supreme Court struck down these restrictions in December.

Becerra has also displayed dubious judgment. As Attorney General of California, he was accused multiple times of using his office to tip the scales in favor of Planned Parenthood and other political allies. In 2020, the state district attorneys faulted him for failing to do more to stop a massive fraud in California’s unemployment benefits.

Becerra also focused on “environmental justice” as California’s Attorney General, filing dozens of lawsuits opposing the Trump administration’s de-regulatory agenda regarding climate and energy. In California, he created an environmental justice bureau – not to focus on the state’s environmental concerns, but to focus the “unequal” effect pollution and environmental damage on certain vulnerable communities. President Biden has indicated that each executive agency will focus on climate regardless of statutory remit, and Becerra is thus likely to engage an aggressive climate agenda outside of the purview of HHS.

Becerra has shown neither the judgment, character, or respect for human life necessary to lead the agency with such influence over the foundational rights of all Americans. Under his watch, we believe HHS – an agency that should protect human life, dignity, and enshrine the values of religious liberty – would be weaponized toward partisan and destructive ends.

For all these reasons, we urge the Senate to firmly reject his confirmation.

The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan (1985-1988)
Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
President, Republic Book Publishers
Tom McClusky
March for Life Action
Penny Y. Nance
President & CEO
Concerned Women for America
The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell
The Leadership Institute
Myron Ebell
Director, Center for Energy and Environment
Competitive Enterprise Institute
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Constitutional Congress, Inc.
Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.
Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.
President and CEO, First Liberty Institute
William L. Walton
Council for National Policy
Christopher Malagisi
Executive Director of Outreach
Hillsdale College
Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Chief Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)
Daniel Schneider
Executive Director
American Conservative Union
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
White House Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)
The Honorable Jim DeMint
Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute
Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013)
Ed Corrigan
Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project
President & CEO, Conservative Partnership Institute
Rachel Bovard
Senior Director of Policy
Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI)
The Honorable Donald Paul Hodel
U.S. Secretary of Energy (1982-1985)
U.S. Secretary of Interior (1985-1989)
Lisa B. Nelson Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (Ret.)
Executive Vice President
Family Research Council
The Honorable Russ Vought
Office of Management and Budget (2020-2021)
The Honorable Tony Perkins
Family Research Council
The Honorable Colin A. Hanna
Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
Marjorie Dannenfelser
Susan B. Anthony List
Alan E. Sears
Alliance Defending Freedom
Michael Farris
President & CEO
Alliance Defending Freedom
Rob Chambers
Vice President
AFA Action
Matthew Whitlock
Vice President
CRC Advisors
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Budget Director for President Reagan, 1985-1988
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
American Values
The Honorable Scott Walker
Young America’s Foundation
Justin Danhof
General Counsel
National Center for Public Policy Research
The Honorable Kenneth Cuccinelli
Former Acting Deputy Sect., DHS
The Honorable Tom DeLay
Former Majority Leader
US House of Representatives
Mike Davis
Founder and President
Article III Project (A3P)
Craig Shirley
Reagan Biographer
Presidential Historian
E.W. Jackson
STAND Foundation, Inc.
Rev. Frank Pavone
National Director
Priests for Life
Ashley Baker
Director of Public Policy
The Committee for Justice
Floyd Brown
Western Center for Journalism
Dr. Frank Wright
President / CEO
D. James Kennedy Ministries
Allen Roth
Secure America Now
Sheryl Kaufman
Board Member
Americans for Limited Government
Ron Pearson
Executive Director
Conservative Victory Fund
Robert Keith Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Kielle C. Horton
The Lindsey Foundation
Thomas Pyle
American Energy Alliance
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
60 Plus Association
James L. Martin
60 Plus Association
Jack Park
Conservative Activist and Donor
Law Offices of Jack Park
Joan Holt Lindsey
Lindsey Communications
Kay R. Daly
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
Khadine Ritter
Eagle Forum of Ohio
Gerard Kassar
State Chairman
NYS Conservative Party
Karen England
Executive Director
Capitol Resource Institute
David Haas
Morrison Inc
The Honorable George K. Rasley Jr.
Managing Editor
Kathleen Patten
President & CEO
American Target Advertising
Anne Schlafly Cori
Eagle Forum
Jay Mount
MDS Communications Corporation
Gary Marx
The Concord Fund
The Honorable Mike Hill
Former Member
Florida State House
C. Preston Noell III
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation
Richard D. Hayes
Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP
Dr. Steven White
Catholic Medical Association
Melvin Adams
Noah Webster educational foundation
Terry Schilling
American Principles Project
Jon Schweppe
Director of Policy and Government Affairs
American Principles Project
Seton Motley
Less Government
Mario Navarro da Costa
Director, Washington Bureau
Tradition, Family, Property
The Honorable Peter J. Thomas
The Conservative Caucus
Penna Dexter
Point of View Radio
Elaine Donnelly
Center for Military Readiness
E.C. Sykes
General Partner
Aslan Ventures
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Cofounder
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom
The Honorable Terrence Scanlon
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (1985-89)
Dr. Teryn Clarke
Clarke Neurology
Paavo Ensio
Universal Minerals Group
Andresen Blom
Hawaiian Values
Amapola Hansberger
Founder and President
Legal Immigrants for America
Rick Scarborough
Recover America Now
Chad Connelly
Faith Wins
Dr. Richard Rounsavelle
Dr. Allen Unruh
National Abstinence Clearinghouse
Rod Vandenbos
Grace-Marie Turner
Galen Institute
Lee Beaman
Beaman Ventures
Mat Staver
Founder & Chairman
Liberty Counsel
Sean Noble
American Encore
Dr. Roy Stringfellow, MD
Advanced Gynecology
Tim Throckmorton
Lifepointe Ministries
Tim LeFever
Capitol Resource Institute
The Honorable Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
Congressman 2011-2017
1st District of Kansas
Art Ally
Timothy Partners, Ltd.
Amy Kremer
Women for America First
Tom DeWeese
American Policy Center
William Shaker
Washington Marketing Group
James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder & President
Dr. James Dobson Family Institute
William W. Pascoe, III
Board Member
Tea Party Patriots Action

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The Conservative Action Project (CAP) was founded in 2008 by many conservative leaders, with former Attorney General Edwin Meese III serving as Founding Chairman. The group works to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. CAP routinely issues "Memos to the Movement" demonstrating consensus among conservatives on key issues.