Lieberman to draft a faith-based bill

WASHINGTON — Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., said he is developing his own version of legislation passed by the House last week that would expand federal funds for religious charities.

The House bill, supported by President Bush, faces opposition from Lieberman and other Democrats because it would pre-empt state and local laws barring discrimination in hiring.

"That's not right. It's not necessary. And it's going to stop a bipartisan agreement on this very good idea," Lieberman told "Fox News Sunday."

"I've always believed that religion is a source of unity in America, not division. This bill is framed in a way that seems to have divided us."

Lieberman said he would write his own initiative to encourage religious-based organizations to help solve society's problems "in a constitutionally appropriate way." Such a measure would compete with the bill passed by the House.

Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who ran for vice president last year as Al Gore's running mate, often spoke during the campaign of an expanded role for religion in society.