As expected, Bush backs Senate bill
In the Oval Office yesterday, President Bush heralded "a great accomplishment, which is an agreement to move a faith-based initiative out of the United States Senate" (text | audio | video). Allowing folks who don't itemize deductions on their tax returns to deduct for charitable giving is apparently huge. Bush is acting like a guy who didn't get the burger he ordered at BurgerMeister, but is afraid to complain lest they spit in his next one. The Washington Post details other items in the Senate bill:
The Senate proposal would also let IRA holders make charitable contributions from their accounts, enhance deductions for donations of food and books, raise caps on corporate charitable contributions and introduce individual development accounts, which are savings accounts for low-income families providing incentives for home buying, education or starting a business. The compromise also contains provisions to outlaw discrimination against groups that have religious names or display religious icons, but these are far narrower than House provisions that would have allowed religion to be blended with charity more openly.
But just because the President is supporting the bill, don't expect other Republicans who supported the House version to roll over. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is now busy trying to avoid a squabble, says the Post:
Santorum, a conservative, called on House Republicans to put off discussion of the controversial "charitable choice" proposals until Congress renews the 1996 welfare reform law in a few months. A House leadership aide said Santorum's suggestion was "an option," but Rep. J. C. Watts (R-Okla.), the sponsor of the House measure, said the Senate compromise will require ...1
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