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Obama Signs Order to Reform Faith-based Office

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President Obama signed an executive order today that reforms the White House's faith-based office in a bid to improve transparency and clarify rules for religious groups that receive

federal grants.

The nine-page order reflects numerous recommendations made more than six months ago by a blue-ribbon advisory council charged with streamlining and reforming the office created under former President George W. Bush.

"The recommendations that they've put forth make really concrete and tangible improvements to the government's relationship with faith-based organizations," said Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

The executive order, however, does not address controversial questions of whether grant recipients can hire and fire based on religion. Administration officials have said those questions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

DuBois and others said the new order gives better legal footing to public-private ...

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