Beliefnet
WASHINGTON (RNS) -- President Bush's faith-based initiative could bestalled in the Senate until next year unless problems withanti-discrimination provisions are worked out, Senate Democrats say. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said Sunday (July 22) itis unlikely the Senate will consider Bush's plan to funnel federal moneyto religious charities this year. The House passed its version of thebill 233-198 on Thursday. Daschle said he has concerns about provisions in the bill that allowreligious groups to skirt local and state anti-bias laws. Daschle saidthe bill, as written, is an "open invitation" to allow discriminationand would not say when the bill would come up in the Democrat-controlledSenate. "I don't want to be tied to a specific time frame, but I clearlywill give the president his opportunity, his day in court, and we'llhave that debate," Daschle said on NBC's "Meet the Press." One of the bill's chief backers in the Senate, meanwhile, said hewill take a look at the bill and try to rework its provisions ondiscrimination. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., told "Fox News Sunday"he will rework the bill in an attempt to find "common ground." "I've always believed that religion is a source of unity in America,not division," said Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew. "Right now, this bill isframed in a way that seems to have divided us, certainly along partylines. That's not necessary."
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