Trump boosts school prayer, faith groups as he rallies base

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is taking steps to solidify his evangelical base by proposing easier access for religious organizations to federal programs and reaffirming students' rights to pray in public schools.

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on prayer in public schools, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Under orders from Trump, nine Cabinet departments are proposing rules intended to remove “regulatory burdens” on religious organizations that participate in federal programs. Many of the developments Thursday follow through on an executive order Trump signed in 2018.

That order aims to put religious groups on equal footing when competing for federal grants and other funding.

The administration's moves are drawing criticism from civil rights advocates.