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Faith in doubt – States skirt option

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Criticism is mounting in the face of a push by President Bush to enlist support for his plan to boost federal funding of religious groups that provide social services.

Having drawn foes from left and right alike, the plan could sink based on religious groups’ track record in skipping the chance to team up with government to help train welfare recipients for jobs, BusinessWeek reported in its March 26 issue.

Bush’s plan favors religious groups with social-service programs already plugged into federal support, the magazine said, a bias likely to upset fundamentalist groups that don’t deliver such services.

Only five states have promoted a 1996 federal law that invited religious groups to compete for federal welfare funds, the Associated Press reported March 20.

Meeting Monday with Bush, who promised not to weaken his plan, black religious leaders said the strategy could boost his reputation with blacks, The Washington Post reported March 20.

But Republican Senators plan to wait several months before acting on its controversial funding features, the Post said.

For full story, go to the Associated Press and The Washington Post.

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