03.24.22

Daines Introduces Bill to Stop Federal Government from Tracking Montanans’ Religious Information

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from sharing, disclosing, or disseminating information concerning Montanans’ religious accommodation requests, including exemption requests for COVID-19 vaccines.

“The Constitution is clear—Montanans have the right to freedom of religion. The federal government should not be tracking, storing and sharing Montanans’ religious exemption requests for anything, especially for Biden’s overreaching vaccine mandates. We must fight back against this egregious power grab,” Daines said. 

To read the bill text click HERE.

Background: 

At least 19 federal agencies – including five cabinet-level agencies – have created or proposed on the Federal Register to create tracking lists for religious-exception requests from their employees. The list includes the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Transportation, to name a few.

The agencies plan to collect religious affiliation, the reasons and support given for religious accommodation requests, names, contact information, date of birth, aliases, home address, contact information, and other identifying information. These lists will be shared between federal agencies.

The notices do not explain how long they plan on storing this data, why they need to share it between agencies, or why they need to keep it beyond the decision to grant or deny an employee’s religious accommodation request. 

 

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Contact: Rachel Dumke,  Katie Schoettler