WASHINGTON (RNS) -- President Bush's faith-based initiative could be stalled in the Senate until next year unless problems with anti-discrimination provisions are worked out, Senate Democrats say. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said Sunday (July 22) it is unlikely the Senate will consider Bush's plan to funnel federal money to religious charities this year. The House passed its version of the bill 233-198 on Thursday. Daschle said he has concerns about provisions in the bill that allow religious groups to skirt local and state anti-bias laws. Daschle said the bill, as written, is an "open invitation" to allow discrimination and would not say when the bill would come up in the Democrat-controlled Senate. "I don't want to be tied to a specific time frame, but I clearly will give the president his opportunity, his day in court, and we'll have that debate," Daschle said on NBC's "Meet the Press." One of the bill's chief backers in the Senate, meanwhile, said he will take a look at the bill and try to rework its provisions on discrimination. 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 is framed in a way that seems to have divided us, certainly along party lines. That's not necessary."
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