Healthy Marriage Initiative Faces Bump in Road

( [email protected] ) Apr 02, 2004 09:33 AM EST

The Healthy Marriage Initiative, a key part of the welfare-reform bill that was passed in the House and was being discussed by the Senate, is currently being tabled inspite of receiving support from pro-family groups who say the $1.5 billion proposal will help strengthen marriage in the United States and prevent divorces. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA.) called on a vote to end an amendment introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA.) that would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7 but the vote did not pass.

What the reauthorization of the Welfare Reform Act, which expires June 30, “would do, fundamentally, is allow low-income couples greater access to marriage-education services," explained Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services. "They can achieve what they say they want for themselves — a lifelong, healthy and stable marriage."

Stable marriages are “financially and socially” beneficial to the nation, according to President of Family Research Council Tony Perkins during a press conference Wednesday. He said children who live in families where parents are married healthier, less involved in risky behavior and less prone to poverty.