Senate Negotiators Agree on Modified Proposal

February 6, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On February 6, 2002, The New York Times reported that "Senate negotiators have reached agreement with the White House over President Bush's proposal to give federal money to religious charities, Congressional aides said tonight... The aides said details of the agreement between Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, and Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, will be announced Thursday by the lawmakers and President Bush... The aides said the most contentious elements of a bill adopted by the House last summer were eliminated. Backers of the measure hope that the president's endorsement of the Senate approach will ease the way for adoption of a similar measure in the House and lead to passage this year... The main roadblock to Senate passage of the House plan was a provision that would allow religious groups to hire members of their own faith and disregard antidiscrimination laws. The compromise plan drops any provision on hiring, the aides said... Besides the resistance to the House-backed provisions, the religion-based initiative of the president has encountered opposition from groups that contend the approach violates the doctrine of separation between church and state."