Senators Champion Healthy Marriages - 12/11/05
Smartmarriages& #174; Mailing List
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Sun Dec 11 15:41:09 EST 2005
Add your voice. Educate YOUR Senators about the merits of Marriage
Education. Call them tomorrow. The next week is critical. To reach the
legislative staff, call the US Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
See the letter to the Senate and Talking Points at:
- Chris Gersten
gerstenchris at aol.com
- SENATORS CHAMPION HEALTHY MARRIAGES
By Cheryl Wetzstein
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
December 11, 2005
Supporters of a multimillion-dollar "healthy marriage" program are stepping
up their efforts to get it into this year's must-pass budget bill.
"Tragically, government spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year to
pick up the pieces when marriage fails, yet does virtually nothing to
preserve or strengthen marriage," Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania
Republican, said in a letter sent Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist, Tennessee Republican, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles
E. Grassley, Iowa Republican.
"The healthy marriage initiative represents a bold departure from this
pattern of failed policy," said the letter, which was signed by Republican
Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Jim Talent
of Missouri, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jim DeMint
of South Carolina, Mel Martinez of Florida and David Vitter of Louisiana.
The $300 million-a-year marriage program is in the House budget bill as part
of a full renewal of welfare reform.
The 1996 welfare reform law technically expired three years ago and is in
its 11th temporary extension.
However, the Senate budget bill doesn't include welfare reform -- or the
marriage program -- as key Senate leaders want to handle welfare reform in a
Chris Gersten, leader of the new Fatherhood and Marriage Leadership
Institute (FAMLI), said it should be easy to include the marriage program in
the final budget bill because all its funds come from "ineffective" welfare
programs that could be discontinued.
This is "not new spending, but rather a reprogramming" of various welfare
performance bonuses, he said.
Mr. Grassley has done a lot to champion pro-marriage activities in Iowa,
"and we are very hopeful ... he will see how important it is for the whole
country to benefit from the marriage education programs," added Mr. Gersten,
a former official with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Last month, FAMLI and nearly 100 pro-marriage allies sent a letter to
lawmakers, asking them to enact the marriage program this year.
President Bush introduced the healthy marriage initiative in February 2002,
saying his administration "will give unprecedented support to strengthening
"Strong marriages and stable families are incredibly good for children. And
stable families should be the central goal of American welfare policy," Mr.
Bush said in 2002.
Opponents of the marriage program include feminist and anti-poverty groups
that say welfare money shouldn't be siphoned from needy single parents or
used to coerce women into marriages with abusive husbands.
An HHS report issued this year said $25 million in grants have been awarded
for premarital education, marriage enrichment and relationship-skills
Send replies to this newslist to: diane at smartmarriages.com Do not hit
"reply" - that goes to a filter. This is a moderated list. Replies are read
by Diane Sollee, editor. Please indicate if your response is NOT to be
shared with the list. PLEASE include your email address with your
To SUBSCRIBE, or Change your subscription address,
use the form on our website: http://www.smartmarriages.com. Click Newslist -
right under the puzzle piece.
This newslist shares information on marriage, divorce and educational
approaches. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by members of the
To read ALL past posts to the newsletter, visit the Archive at:
Subscribe to the free e-newslist at http://www.smartmarriages.com
List your program in the Directory of Classes at
Order conference audio & video tapes/CD/DVDs: 800-241-7785 or
10th Annual Smart Marriages Conference, Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel,
June 22-25, 2006
Pre and Post Conference Training Institutes June 20-28
Subscribe to the FREE Smart Marriages e-newslist at
Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
FAIR USE NOTICE: This e-newsletter/site contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance
understanding of marriage, family, couples, divorce, legislation, family
breakdown, etc. We understand this constitutes a 'fair use' of such material
as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with
Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed
without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational purposes. For more
information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you
wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own
that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright
More information about the SmartMarriages