President Bush's controversial backing of non-secular social services through his newly-created White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives roused objections from many political camps. In Texas, the former governor pushed for a way to divert more federal funds to religious (or "faith-based") groups that provided social services. But the effort was hardly widespread: Only $8.4 million went to religious groups, compared to the $1 billion spent on social services in Texas in 2001. The debate surrounding charitable choice may well be one of semantics and political emphasis rather than true action as laws already exist that permit faith-based groups to be eligible for federal funds for social service work.
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