June 12, 2009
DuBois: Policy Recommendations Will Come in February
It may take a while to see any impact from President Obama's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The office's director, Joshua Dubois said Thursday that his office is still compiling data about existing faith-based programs before it gives policy-based recommendations for the President in February 2010. Dubois also indicated that there won't be an announcement regarding the President's stance toward religion-based hiring policies anytime soon.
Since the announcement last February that President Obama was renaming President Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP), leaders of faith-based programs have speculated on whether President Obama would override former President Bush's policy of allowing federally-funded religious organizations to take religious belief into consideration in hiring employees.
DuBois said on Thursday that because the president understands the importance of the issue, he wants to "fully understand" both sides of the policy. "There are a range of issues that we're working on a day to day basis that aren't as titillating," he added.
DuBois said the office's advisory council will consider how to "use the bully pulpit of the presidency" to promote the administration's four priorities for the office: economic recovery, reducing the number of abortions, promoting interfaith dialogue, and strengthening the role of fathers in society. He was speaking at an event organized for the release of the Roundtable on Religion & Social Welfare Policy's report on "The Bush Faith-Based Initiative and What Lies Ahead."