Public comment apparently does not matter any more to President Joe Biden and his administration.
On Monday, the Democrat leader rammed through a Title X rule that restores taxpayer funding to the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood. The rule overturns one that President Donald Trump put in place to ensure tax dollars are not directly or indirectly funding the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
While Biden’s new rule itself is egregious enough, some experts said the way the Biden administration implemented it also should be deeply concerning to the American public.
In a column at National Review, Rachel N. Morrison, a former attorney advisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, slammed Biden and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for rushing through the rule-making process with “lightning speed” as a favor to the abortion industry.
“It is apparent that when Planned Parenthood says, ‘Jump,’ the Biden administration asks, ‘How high?’ Or should I say, ‘How much?’” she wrote.
Morrison, an attorney/policy analyst at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said the Biden administration allowed only 30 days for public comment on the proposed rule; normally, the public comment period is twice as long.
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Afterward, the administration is legally required to read and respond to all the comments; it also is supposed to submit drafts of the final rule for various agencies to review and consider any proposed changes before implementing the final rule, she explained.
This takes quite a bit of time, but the Biden administration did it all with unusual speed: 4 ½ months, which is half the time that it took the Trump administration to finalize its Title X pro-life rule, she said.
The problems did not end there.
For decades, both Democrat and Republican presidential administrations have held meetings with experts and political groups to discuss their proposed rules, she explained. When the Trump administration proposed its pro-life Title X rule, for example, it met with Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups to allow them to voice their concerns, she said.
Earlier this year, Morrison said she requested a meeting with the Biden administration to discuss the new rule; and they scheduled a meeting with her on Oct. 8.
“But instead of keeping their commitment and hearing my presentation, they canceled the meeting and officially published the rule yesterday,” she said.
According to a former senior Trump OIRA official I talked with, refusing to take EO 12866 meeting requests [based on Executive Order 12866 issued by President Bill Clinton to ensure proper review of all significant regulatory actions], much less canceling a scheduled meeting, is a clear departure from longstanding OMB tradition and practice. Harvard Law School professor and former Obama OIRA administrator Cass Sunstein wrote that he was aware of “no case in which a meeting was turned down.”
When the Trump administration was finalizing its Title X rule, HHS and OMB held 14 EO 12866 meetings, many of which were with multiple groups and with pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Guttmacher Institute. The number of EO 12866 meetings the Biden-Becerra HHS and OMB held on its final Title X rule? Zero.
From all this, it is clear that Biden and Becerra had no intent to consider public input, she said. Morrison slammed the whole process as a “sham” to benefit the billion-dollar abortion industry, a close ally of Biden and many others in his administration.
Less than a year ago, Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson bragged openly about her influence in staffing the Biden administration.
Now, because of the new rule, Johnson’s abortion chain will be getting tens of millions more tax dollars every year. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the U.S. In 2020, it reported more than 354,000 abortions, which is about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S.