Watchdog Sues HHS After Xavier Becerra Appears to Have Misled Congress

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra liste
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A lawsuit has been filed against the Department of Health and Human Services after it refused to provide information regarding Secretary Xavier Becerra’s false testimony before Congress.

As Breitbart News reported, Becerra falsely claimed the Biden administration does not incentivize doctors to implement “anti-racism” policies in exchange for more government funding.

In April, the HHS secretary testified that the existence of administration policies like paying doctors more money if they create an “anti-racism” plan that includes a “clinic-wide review” of doctor ideology, including their “commitment to anti-racism” was “driven by mis- and disinformation.”

After being questioned by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) about the existence of such race-oriented medical policies, Becerra “challenge[d]” the Alabama Republican to find them.

Those policies, however, were published at the time of his testimony in Volume 86 of the Federal Register.

This disparity motivated government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as a probe into whether Becerra knew he made false statements to Congress.

HHS, however, has refused to comply with their legal obligation to fulfill the requests, prompting the watchdog to file suit against the agency.

“The American public needs to be assured they can trust the statements of those at the highest levels of power who create, implement, and oversee the policies that affect their lives and how the funds they remit as taxes are spent,” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain said in a press release.

PPT’s FOIA request included all records with “anti-racism” or “antiracism” in them connected to Becerra, Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, and HHS Chief of Staff Sean McCluskie.

The department, however, asked PPT to “narrow” its request, despite only looking for one phrase and its existence among three department personnel.

PPT has not received any information regarding its request, with Chamberlain telling Breitbart News, “Based on the initial reply from HHS, we question whether the agency even read PPT’s FOIA request before sending it. They wanted us to ‘narrow’ a request that asked them to search for one term in the communications of three people.”

“It’s little wonder they didn’t provide any suggestions for doing so,” he continued. “The American public’s trust in the agency Secretary Becerra leads has plummeted during the pandemic and a good first step in restoring that trust is to comply with our request so they can determine whether he delivered truthful testimony to their elected representatives.”

Doc 1 PPT v HHS Complaint by Breitbart News

The case is Protect the Public’s Trust v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 1:22-cv-03239, in the U.S. District Court fot the District of Columbia.

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


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