U.S. Rep. Seeks To Make ‘Faith-Based’ Outreach Permanent

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make the White House’s “faith-based” office permanent.

H.R. 1054, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-Wisc.), would also make faith-based centers in 10 federal agencies permanent.

President George W. Bush used executive orders to establish the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and faith-based outreach offices in the Departments of Education, Labor, Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Commerce, Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration and the Agency for International Development.

Green’s press secretary told The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy that the bill “gives assurance” that the faith-based offices “will stay in place after Bush leaves office. It ensures that under future administrations, the Office will stay.”

The bill also mandates that a director will be appointed to the office and lays out a long list of “responsibilities,” including working “to eliminate improper Federal barriers so as to allow faith-based and community entities to compete for Federal funding.”