White House director of policy development Gary Bauer is leaving the Reagan administration this month to head a new Washington, D.C., office created by the merging of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. The Washington-based Family Research Council, a nonprofit resource network begun in 1980, has always had a close relationship with Focus founder James Dobson, and it will now formally join forces with his ministry.

Dobson will continue his activities from the Focus on the Family headquarters in California, while Bauer and the Washington office will concentrate more on public policy matters. Bauer told CHRISTIANITY TODAY that the main purpose of the new office will be to “have a more effective and long-term impact on the public policy process” as it relates to the family. He said the new office will work with members of Congress on a regular basis, “to help them understand our concerns about the American family,” support various public policy research on family issues, and provide information to the grassroots public “so they can have an impact on public policy.”

It is still unclear how much direct congressional lobbying the new office will engage in, but Bauer said they will be very much involved with “educational” efforts, such as providing members of Congress with position papers on family issues.

Bauer, a member of Fairfax Baptist Church in Northern Virginia, has been an outspoken voice within the administration in support of conservative social policy. Disagreeing with those who say Reagan has accomplished little for the profamily movement, Bauer argues that “the President laid the foundation” for significant changes to come. Citing judicial appointees and an executive order that mandates all government ...

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