According to Salon.com, the head of the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is getting frustrated with his boss for not spelling out what he wants in legislation on the issue. "In the past few weeks, [John] DiIulio has complained … that by not spelling out what he would like to sign into law, the president is ceding the issue to House Republicans—whose bill is far more controversial and is less likely to make it through the Democratic-controlled Senate," reports Jake Tapper.
But while Salon.com was publishing such reports, Bush was out defending his plans. "Those who worry about faith in our society, and government's willingness to stand side-by-side with faith, don't understand the power of faith and the promise of faith and the hope of faith," he said (text | audio) while building a Habitat for Humanity house in Tampa, Florida. He still didn't say whether he preferred the Senate or House bill, or what he felt were non-negotiable parts of his plan, but he seems ready to fight. That may motivate Senate Republicans who, The New York Times and others have reported, have lost enthusiasm for Bush's faith-based initiative.
More on Bush's faith-based initiative:
- Groups wary of applying for faith-based grants | Reasons vary on why few congregations are seeking contracts despite being eligible to compete directly for billions of federal social-service dollars. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
- When children relied on faith-based agencies | President Bush should study the history of New York's foster care when considering faith-based antipoverty efforts. (Stephen O'Connor, The New York Times)
- Religious leaders press aid to poor | A religious coalition headed by Call to Renewal directly linked changes to Bush's tax plan to support for his faith-based initiative (The Boston Globe)
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