Watchdog group sues Biden administration for information on health department's 'anti-racism' plan

HHS has "refused to comply with its legal obligations" regarding records request.

Updated: October 27, 2022 - 11:08am

A government watchdog group is launching a suit against the Biden administration over its purported refusal to provide documentation regarding an alleged departmental "anti-racism plan." 

The group Protect the Public’s Trust announced on Thursday that it had opened "litigation against the Department of Health and Human Services" after HHS allegedly "refused to comply with its legal obligations related to a request for documents that could shed light on whether Secretary Xavier Becerra was truthful in testimony to Congress earlier this year."

The litigation, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is seeking to force the surrender of Freedom of Information Act-sensitive records requested by PPT related to an alleged "anti-racism" program in place at HHS. 

"On consecutive days in late April, Secretary Becerra testified before the Health Subcommittee to the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the House Ways and Means Committee," PPT noted in its press release. "During each appearance he denied awareness of a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposal involving the creation and implementation of an anti-racism plan.

The group said it filed a FOIA request seeking "records of communications involving Secretary Becerra and two top deputies" that included the term "anti-racism." But "In the nearly five months since, HHS has provided no additional information."

The suit seeks to force HHS to disclose "any and all non-exempt records responsive to PPT’s FOIA request and indexes justifying the withholding of all or part of any responsive records withheld under claim of exemption."

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