WASHINGTON —Senate committees are considering today the nomination of Russell Vought for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Manar Waheed, American Civil Liberties Union legislative and advocacy counsel, issued the following statement:
“Religious freedom is such a fundamental liberty that the framers of our Constitution enshrined it in the First Amendment. That’s why it’s so disturbing that Trump continues to pack his administration with appointees like Russell Vought, whose views threaten that very freedom.
“Trump’s nominee for this powerful position that helps decide how federal money is spent has claimed that ‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.’
“We know that diversity is one of our nation’s greatest strengths, and it is vitally important that Americans have confidence that their public servants will serve our entire nation in good faith. That’s why we will watch Vought closely and press to ensure that those helping decide how public money is spent and the government is managed understand the vital importance of nondiscrimination.”
As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not take positions supporting or opposing cabinet nominees. The ACLU does, however, provide context on the nominees’ civil liberties records for the public and Congress.