This website is an archive and will no longer be updated. For continuing research and analysis of faith-based social services, turn to the
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.



  View a printer friendly version of this page

PRINT-FRIENDLY VERSION

View a printer friendly version of this page

E-MAIL INTERVIEW TO A FRIEND

View a printer friendly version of this page

LARGER-PRINT VERSION

>> INTERVIEW ARCHIVES 

An Interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

Posted: September 25, 2002


Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)


Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has served Pennsylvania in the Senate since 1995 and is the third ranking Republican in the Senate. As conference chairman, he directs communications operations of the Senate Republicans. He has been a leader in both welfare and tax reform efforts, and is co-sponsor of the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment Act (CARE).

Santorum is also co-chair of the Congressional Empowerment Caucus, a bipartisan effort to promote responsible fatherhood and marriage, charitable giving, opportunities for young people, and financial self-sufficiency. Before his election to his current seat, he served as a U.S. Congressman. He graduated with a political science degree from Penn State University in 1980, earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and holds a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law. He and his wife, Karen, have seven children.

The Roundtable:

What is the significance of the CARE bill?

Senator Santorum:

There’s no question it’s the cornerstone of President Bush’s faith-based agenda. If you look at the faith-based initiative, this is a large part of what the president asked for. Of course, it’s not everything, but you rarely get everything he’s asked for. He’s learned that on many bills. But we’ve certainly taken the chunk out of the middle of his bill that has broad diverse support, and when we get it done, then we can get it over to the House and they can deal with it expeditiously.

The Roundtable:

How is the CARE bill different from the bill passed by the House?

Senator Santorum:

It’s different from HR7. We really tried to find a compromise here, one that was accomplished with some clear grounds for protection for faith-based institutions in the areas outside of hiring that they were most concerned about. Hiring was a hot button issue so we just steered clear of it. That’s not to say we aren’t going to fight that issue down the road as well. You’ll probably find it in the welfare bill next year. But for this purpose, because we do have the support, we can get some of the charitable giving incentives through and some of the technical assistance for small charities through.

The Roundtable:

When do you think the CARE bill will go to the full Senate for a vote?

Senator Santorum:

First you have to get consent, and then we have to find time to do it. I’m certainly willing to do the bill in two or three hours. I don’t think it will take much time.

I’m planning to announce we’re ready to go on the Republican side. I have been for quite some time now. We’re trying to work with the Democrats to see if they can accomplish what Sen. Daschle (D-S.D.) says are his conditions for bringing this up which is one amendment on each side and the manager’s amendment.

The Roundtable:

What is the manager’s amendment?

Senator Santorum:

It’s the one the Senate Finance Committee put together. It’s the amendment that has the things that aren’t finance related and did not come out of the finance committee. There are certain things in the CARE bill that do not have finance jurisdiction so the committee couldn’t report a bill out with those things. There’s no charitable choice language in the bill. The language has to do with whether a group can use icons. And there’s language on the Capital Compassion Fund and a couple of other things that are not in the jurisdiction of the finance committee, and we’ll put them back in.