Bush Approves Faith-Based Initiative Compromise

February 8, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 8, 2002, The Boston Globe reported that "President Bush gave his blessing to a compromise version of his faith-based initiative yesterday that would deliver more private and public resources to religious charities over the next two years... The compromise, achieved by White House negotiators and a bipartisan group of senators, was a breakthrough for Bush. The bill would use tax incentives to spur charitable giving, while increasing the amount of grant money for groups that deliver social services... The bill's cosponsors - Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, and Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania - described it as an emergency measure to aid charities and people in need. Most of its provisions would expire in two years, they said... To obtain Democratic support and consideration in the Senate, the president had to abandon the most controversial part of his original plan, the expansion of 'charitable choice,' a provision that would have given religious groups access to a host of new government programs... Civil-rights groups opposed charitable choice, arguing that it violated the constitutional separation of church and state."