U.S./world – Faith chief quits – Backup plan eyed

John DiIulio has resigned as head of the White House office overseeing President Bush’s plan to boost federal funding for charitable work by religious groups, The New York Times reported Aug. 16.

DiIulio, a Democrat, said he was keeping his pledge to leave after six months, and cited health and family life for his decision, the Times said.

But University of Pennsylvania professor was at odds with White House officials who increasingly kept him out of strategy sessions about how to win approval of the Bush plan, a key Republican told the Times.

DiIulio’s resignation comes as Bush’s faith-based plan faces a struggle in the Democratic-controlled Senate after winning passage in the Republican-controlled House.

In case Congress weakens the legislation, cabinet departments are looking for ways to ease regulatory barriers to federal contracts for religious groups, The Washington Post reported Aug. 17.

Recommendations are due early in September, administration officials told the Post.

For full story, go to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

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