Senator Marshall Leads Charge to Reverse The Biden Admin’s Weaponization of School Lunch Programs
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall released the following statement on his Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval. The CRA would’ve struck down a Biden Administration Policy Memorandum on the federal school lunch program that’s been weaponized to force schools to adhere to the Democrats’ radical transgender agenda. The CRA failed in the Senate 47-50 despite bipartisan support.
“Don’t be fooled here, the Biden Administration is the only player in this policy fight that is taking away lunches from children. There is real-world evidence that USDA’s policy has already taken away school lunch funding from low-income children. Weaponizing school lunch money in pursuit of their radical agenda and putting students in the crosshairs is unconscionable, and we will not stand for it,” Senator Marshall said. “The Biden Administration has no authority to force schools to allow biological boys access to girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms or to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports. My CRA overturns Joe Biden’s egregious rule and takes politics out of the lunch line.”
“This outrageous policy by the Biden Administration would deny American children food unless parents and schools ram radical gender ideology down children’s throats. No girl at school should feel threatened because it’s Joe Biden’s policy that a boy can use a girl’s restroom at school,” Senator Cruz said. “No girl playing girls’ sports should have to compete against someone who has a physical, biological advantage. This Biden Administration rule is the opposite of what Title IX is all about, and I hope Congress puts an end to it.”
This CRA was supported by: Heritage Action, Alliance Defending Freedom, Concerned Women for America, CatholicVote, USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, Independent Women’s Forum, Family Research Council, Parents Defending Education Action, Ethics and Public Policy Center (EEPC), and Eagle Forum
In a May 2022, policy USDA announced it will interpret “Sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity,” which impacts schools’ Title IX and SNAP school lunch funding. Nowhere in this policy does it indicate that USDA would not open an investigation into bathroom use or sports participation if they received a complaint. In fact, USDA personnel informed Senate staffers that they would have to investigate any complaint they received. Passing this resolution would not allow discrimination in the lunch line. USDA still has the statutory obligation to ensure kids aren’t being discriminated against in the lunch line.
The Biden Administration is the only player in this policy fight that is taking away lunches from children. Two religious schools had to file lawsuits over losing federal food assistance in violation of federal law.
- In July of 2022, a Florida Christian academy filed a lawsuit over the threat of losing school-lunch funding for low-income students unless it complied with the policy.
- President Biden, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (a Democrat running to replace Gov. Ron DeSantis) were named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit indicated that in following the new mandate, the school would be unable to maintain sex-separated facilities like restrooms for boys and girls, enforce its uniform policy, or refrain from using pronouns that do not correspond to biological sex. The school, under the new rule, would also no longer be able hire individuals who share and live out its religious convictions, according to the complaint.
- Ultimately, USDA granted an exemption to the policy and then settled the case with the school.
- Later, in 2022, USDA exempted all religious schools from nondiscrimination rules in the policy memo.
- A year later, in June of 2023, a Southern California Church and its preschool also had to sue California and USDA after they were removed the school from participation in the school lunch program for the school’s refusal to adhere to the administration’s interpretation of “gender identity” in their employment practices, completely unrelated to school lunch line discrimination.
- This lawsuit comes after the USDA announced an exemption for religious schools a year prior and settled a similar case.
- LGBT students in that school lost access to school lunches because of this move.
- In both cases, there is federal statute that includes a robust religious exemption, which applies automatically. See 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)(3). Specifically, the exemption applies to covered entities “controlled by a religious organization if the application of [Title IX] would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organizations.”
- Th bottom line, despite a federal statute and USDA announcing exemptions, the weaponization of this policy memo is still occurring.
Grant Park Christian Academy v. Fried
USDA Title IX religious exemption clarification (see here)
Plaintiff’s notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice (see here)
Church of Compassion v. Johnson
Memorandum of Points & Authorities in support of Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (see here)