FedWatch is a network of organizations that nerd out on creating change by any means necessary. NBJC is proud to be a collaborator and partner and even more excited to put Black LGBTQ+/same gender loving people and organizations “on” to a part of government that has been moving on the low for a very long time: regulatory policy.
Regulatory policy does not require a majority or even a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate to change policy – it only requires good ideas and the opportunity to share them. Thankfully, the Biden-Harris administration has TONS of opportunities to share your experiences, expertise, and solutions to systemic inequities and new ways to make all of our lives better. You can learn about all of the available opportunities to comment at www.regulations.gov or scroll down below our explainer video to see the opportunities to comment that we KNOW they need our community’s perspective to move forward. Take a Look. Take Action. Tell your People! Own Your Power!
On 7/14 the White House published an executive order (EO) on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The EO establishes a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy by addressing (among other things) antitrust laws, lower prescription drug prices, and increasing opportunities for small businesses. The order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to tackle issues in these areas.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comment period for its interim final rule on T nonimmigrant status eligibility for survivors of human trafficking, from December 2016 (under the Trump administration), has been reopened for new comments, due 8/16.
A DHS interim final rule on Credible Fear Screening for asylum applicants was sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), allowing asylum officers to provide protections to applicants after determining credible fear before immigration courts provide a final ruling. This is important for Black asylum seekers fleeing countries that criminalize being LGBTQ+/SGL.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule mostly addressing payment policies and program requirements for Medicare. The proposed rule also expands opportunities for data collection beyond race and ethnicity. Comments due 9/13. It is important to leave comments about the importance of collecting data on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and the ability to pull data at the intersections of identities (ex: Black, bisexual, transgender men).
Other Comment Opportunities
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting comments on informed consent forms used for data sharing and biospecimens. Given the identified dangers of expanding molecular HIV surveillance without proper safeguards, this opportunity is important to ensure safeguards are developed.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the comment period for input on how the USDA can advance racial justice & equity for underserved communities. The comment period is extended until August 14, 2021. It is important to highlight any barriers Black LGBTQ+/SGL people face as farmers, consumers, and more within USDA programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is extending the comment period for the National Syringe Services Program (SSP) Evaluation, which aims to strengthen and improve the capacity of SSPs to conduct regular monitoring and evaluation to ensure that comprehensive prevention services are provided to meet the needs of people who inject drugs. Comments are due August 18, 2021. It is incredibly important for Black LGBTQ+/SGL drug users to share comments (can be done anonymously) regarding their experiences.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking comments on its National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS). The goal of the project is to assess patient care in hospital-based settings, and to describe patterns of health care delivery and utilization in the United States. Comments are due 9/7. It is important for comments to include the experiences of Black LGBTQ+/SGL in hospital care in order to highlight and provide solutions to barriers, exclusions, and other inequities.
HHS is accepting comments on an information collection, Identification of Behavioral and Clinical Predictors of Early HIV Infection (Project DETECT), which collects information from people testing for HIV in order to compare the performance characteristics of new point of care HIV tests for detection of early HIV infection and to identify behavioral and clinical predictors of early HIV infection. Comments due 9/10. It is important for Black LGBTQ+/SGL people; particularly same-gender loving men and transgender women, to leave comments to ensure competent administration of this program.