What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Separation of Church & State : H.R. 1261. Job Training Reauthorization/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill to Provide Federal Assistance for Job Training Programs and Allow Providers of Job Training to Discriminate By Using an Individual's Religion as a Factor in Hiring Decisions. (2003 house Roll Call 170)
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H.R. 1261. Job Training Reauthorization/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill to Provide Federal Assistance for Job Training Programs and Allow Providers of Job Training to Discriminate By Using an Individual's Religion as a Factor in Hiring Decisions.
house Roll Call 170     May 08, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

One of President Bush's most controversial domestic policies has been the "faith-based initiative" which, among other things, would allow religious groups to receive federal grants and still maintain their religious nature. Though the faith based initiative has stalled in Congress, Republicans have attempted to weave language contained the initiative into other bills concerning social policy. The job training reauthorization bill, for instance, contained language that would allow faith-based providers of job training activities to use religion as a factor in hiring decisions. Progressives viewed this language as a form of discrimination against individuals who do not espouse the religious beliefs of the faith-based organization where they might be employed. More generally, progressives oppose efforts to provide federal assistance to faith-based groups because in their view such assistance violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The subject of this vote was a motion to move the previous question (thus ending debate and the possibility of amendment) on a rule governing debate on legislation to reauthorize spending for the Workforce Investment Act (a rule must be adopted prior to House consideration of legislation). The purpose of the Act was to provide federal assistance for job training programs, but the legislation also contained faith-based language that progressives found objectionable and they therefore voted against the motion. The motion to move the previous question was adopted on a 222-199 vote.

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