Join Date: Feb 2011
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I found this on the regulations.gov site while researching an unrelated matter and thought it might be of interest to some members here.
... II. This Proposed Rule Based on further legal review, USAID has concluded that some provisions in the Final Rule go beyond the requirements of the Establishment Clause and other Federal law, are not supported by Establishment Clause jurisprudence, and constrict USAID's ability to pursue the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States overseas. As such, these provisions unnecessarily and unduly restrict and interfere with the ability of USAID to effectively implement the bilateral foreign assistance programs of the United States. Accordingly, USAID proposes to amend the Final Rule to provide that, in general, nothing in USAID's regulations should be construed to prohibit USAID funds from being used for activities that are permitted under Establishment Clause jurisprudence or otherwise by law and that, in particular, USAID funds may be used for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of structures that are used, in whole or in part, for inherently religious activities, so long as the program for which USAID assistance is provided (i) Is authorized by law and has a secular purpose, (ii) is made generally available to a wide range of organizations and beneficiaries which are defined without reference to religion, (iii) has the effect of furthering a development objective, (iv) the criteria upon which structures are selected for acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation are religiously neutral, and (v) the selection criteria are amenable to neutral application. Examples of programs where USAID funds may be used for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of structures that are used, in whole or in part, for inherently religious activities include, but are not limited to, rehabilitation or reconstruction programs in a defined geographic area following a natural or manmade disaster; rehabilitation or reconstruction programs for schools; cultural or historical preservation of structures that are architectural, artistic, cultural, or historical landmarks; and rehabilitation or reconstruction programs to promote tourism or other related economic activities.