Tom Perez on Trump Disbanding Civil Rights Efforts at Agencies
May 30, 2017
Following the Washington Post’s reporting on Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies, DNC Chair Tom Perez issued the following statement:
“By planning to dissolve the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the White House is stripping American workers of even more critical protections from discrimination. I’ve dedicated my career to building a safe and level playing field for all American workers. And when I was Secretary of Labor, the OFCCP was firing on all cylinders to ensure that anyone doing who did business with the federal government provided equal opportunity.
“This scheme is just the latest attempt to weaken any efforts to uphold civil rights protections and combat discrimination. Despite the White House’s promise that it has an ‘unwavering commitment to the civil rights of all Americans,’ HUD, EPA, and the Department of Education are all facing drastic cuts to their civil rights protection programs.
“Disbanding these programs would not get rid of ‘red tape.’ It would turn back the clock on decades of civil rights progress. Anyone who believes in equal opportunity for every American should urge the White House to reconsider their disastrous proposals.”
Along with the Department of Labor, the Trump Administration has a number of other agencies in its sights for civil rights program cuts:
· Washington Post: “The new leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has proposed eliminating its environmental justice program, which addresses pollution that poses health threats specifically concentrated in minority communities. The program, in part, offers money and technical help to residents who are confronted with local hazards such as leaking oil tanks or emissions from chemical plants.”
· Washington Post: “Under President Trump’s proposed budget, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights — which has investigated thousands of complaints of discrimination in school districts across the country and set new standards for how colleges should respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment — would also see significant staffing cuts. Administration officials acknowledge in budget documents that the civil rights office will have to scale back the number of investigations it conducts and limit travel to school districts to carry out its work.”
· Washington Post: “And the administration has reversed several steps taken under President Barack Obama to address LGBT concerns. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, for example, has revoked the guidance to implement a rule ensuring that transgender people can stay at sex-segregated shelters of their choice, and the Department of Health and Human Services has removed a question about sexual orientation from two surveys of elderly Americans about services offered or funded by the government.”
· Washington Post: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of agreements to reform police departments, signaling his skepticism of efforts to curb civil rights abuses by law enforcement officers. His Justice Department, meantime, stopped challenging a controversial Texas voter identification law and joined with the Education Department in withdrawing federal guidance allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.”