erosion of marriage over the past four decades has had large-scale
negative effects on children and adults and lies at the heart of
many social problems with which government is currently grappling.
The beneficial effects of marriage, both for individuals and for
society, are beyond reasonable dispute, and there is a broad and
growing consensus that government policy should promote rather than
discourage healthy marriage.
response to these trends, President George W. Bush has proposed, as
part of welfare reform reauthorization, the creation of a pilot
program to promote healthy and stable marriage. Participation in
the program would be strictly voluntary, and funding would be
small-scale: $300 million per year. This sum represents one penny
to promote healthy marriage for every five dollars the government
spends subsidizing single parenthood.
Regrettably, efforts have emerged to
undermine the President's healthy marriage initiative by
substituting an alternative dubbed "marriage plus." While
proponents of marriage plus pay lip service to the importance of
promoting marriage, this project is in fact intended to cripple the
President's initiative by siphoning off limited marriage funds into
traditional government activities that have little or nothing to do
with marriage. Such ancillary "marriage plus" activities include
job training, child support collections, pregnancy prevention and
contraceptive promotion, feel-good programs for absent fathers, and
traditional welfare benefits to "fight poverty."
Ironically, these ancillary activities not
only have little or nothing to do with promoting marriage, but also
already receive ample government funding. For example, the
government spends $6.2 billion annually on job training, $1.9
billion on pregnancy prevention and contraceptive promotion, $3.3
billion on child support collection, and $150 billion on
traditional welfare services and benefits to single parents with
the proponents of marriage plus prevail, the President's healthy
marriage initiative will be converted into a hollow shell. The
program will still include the word "marriage," but the bulk of
funds will be diverted to old-style programs that are unrelated to
marriage and differ little from what government has done in the
The Importance of Marriage
Today, nearly one-third of all American
children are born outside marriage: That's one out-of-wedlock birth
every 35 seconds. Of those born within marriage, a great many will
experience their parents' divorce before they reach age 18. More
than half of the nation's children will spend all or part of their
childhood in never-formed or broken families.
collapse of marriage is the principal cause of child poverty in the
United States. A child raised by a never-married mother is seven
times more likely to live in poverty than a child raised by his
biological parents in an intact marriage. Overall, some 80 percent
of long-term child poverty in the United States is found among
children from broken or never-formed families.
is often argued that strengthening marriage would have little
impact on child poverty because the absent fathers earn too little.
This is not true. The typical non-married father earns $17,500 per
year at the time his child is born. Some 70 percent of poor single
mothers would be lifted out of poverty if they were married to
their child's father.
growth of single-parent families has had an enormous impact on
government. The welfare system for children is overwhelmingly a
subsidy system for single-parent families. More than three-quarters
of the aid to children given through programs such as food stamps,
Medicaid, public housing, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
(TANF), and the earned income tax credit (EITC) goes to
single-parent families. Each year, the government spends more than
$150 billion on means-tested welfare aid for single parents.
Growing up without a father in the home
has harmful long-term effects on children. Compared with their
peers in intact families, children raised in single-parent homes
are more likely to become involved in crime, to have emotional and
behavioral problems, to fail in school, to abuse drugs, and to end
up on welfare as adults.
Finally, marriage brings benefits to
adults as well as children. Extensive research shows that married
adults are happier and more productive on the job, earn more, have
better physical and mental health, and live longer than their
unmarried peers. Marriage also brings safety to women: Mothers who
have married are 50 percent less likely to suffer from domestic
violence than are those who have never married.
The Growing Consensus on Promoting Healthy
overwhelming evidence of the benefits of marriage for children,
women, and men has led to a large and growing consensus that
government policy should strengthen marriage, not undermine it.
According to William Galston, former Domestic Policy Advisor in the
Clinton White House, "Marriage is an important social good,
associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes
for children and adults alike.... [W]hether American Society
succeeds or fails in building a healthy marriage culture is clearly
a matter of legitimate public concern."
2002, in remarks at the National Summit on Fatherhood, former Vice
President Al Gore proclaimed, "We need to be a society that lifts
up the institution of marriage." Mr. Gore and his wife
concurred with the Statement of Principles of the Marriage
We believe that America must strengthen
marriages and families.... Strong marriages are a vital component
to building strong families and raising healthy, happy,
well-educated children. Fighting together against the forces that
undermine family values and creating a national culture that
nurtures and encourages marriage and good family life must be at
the heart of this great nation's public policy.
Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute and Isabel Sawhill,
widely respected welfare and family expert at the Brookings
Institution, recently issued a paper entitled "Progressive Family
Policy for the 21st Century." Marshall and Sawhill repudiate "the
relativist myth that `alternative family forms' were the equal of
two-parent families," citing a growing body of evidence
demonstrating that, in aggregate, children do best in married,
two-parent families. They argue that "a progressive family policy
should encourage and reinforce married, two-parent families because
they are best for children."
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the
benefits of marriage to families and society, the sad fact is that,
for over four decades, the welfare system has penalized and
discouraged marriage. The U.S. welfare system currently comprises
more than 70 means-tested aid programs providing cash, food,
housing, medical care, and social services to low-income
year, over $200 billion flows through this system to families with
children. While it is widely accepted that the welfare system is
biased against marriage, relatively few understand how this bias
operates. Many erroneously believe that welfare programs have
eligibility criteria that directly exclude married couples. This is
Nevertheless, welfare programs do penalize
marriage and reward single parenthood because of the inherent
design of all means-tested programs. In a means-tested program, the
benefits are reduced as non-welfare income rises. Thus, under any
means-tested system, a mother will receive greater benefits if she
remains single than she will if she is married to a working
Welfare not only serves as a substitute
for a husband, but actually penalizes marriage because a low-income
couple will experience a significant drop in combined income if
they marry. For example, the typical single mother on Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families receives a combined welfare package of
various means-tested aid benefits worth about $14,000 per year.
Suppose a typical single mother receives welfare benefits worth
$14,000 per year while the father of her children has a low-wage
job paying $16,000 per year. If the mother and father remain
unmarried, they will have a combined income of $30,000 ($14,000
from welfare and $16,000 from earnings). However, if the couple
marries, the father's earnings will be counted against the mother's
welfare eligibility. Welfare benefits will be eliminated or cut
dramatically, and the couple's combined income will fall
Thus, means-tested welfare programs do not
penalize marriage per se, but instead implicitly penalize marriage
to an employed man with earnings. Nonetheless, the practical effect
of such policies is to significantly discourage marriage among
anti-marriage discrimination is inherent in all means-tested aid
programs, including TANF, food stamps, public housing, Medicaid,
and the Women Infants and Children (WIC) food program. The only way
to eliminate the anti-marriage bias from welfare entirely would be
to determine each mother's welfare eligibility independent of both
her marital status and her husband's earnings. Specifically, this
would mean calculating a mother's welfare benefits by disregarding
whether she was married and her husband's earnings level.
Structured in this way, the welfare system would be marriage
neutral: It would neither reward nor penalize marriage.
across-the-board change, however, would cost tens of billions of
dollars. A more feasible strategy would be to experiment
selectively with reducing welfare's anti-marriage incentives to
determine which penalties have the biggest impact on behavior. This
approach is incorporated in the President's healthy marriage
President Bush's Initiative to Promote
Recognizing the widespread benefits of
marriage to individuals and society, the federal welfare reform
legislation enacted in 1996 set forth clear goals to increase the
number of two-parent families and reduce out-of-wedlock
childbearing. In the years since reform, however, most states have
done very little to advance this objective directly. Out of more
than $100 billion in federal TANF funds disbursed over the past
seven years, only about $20 million (a minuscule 0.02 percent) has
been spent on promoting marriage.
address this shortcoming, President Bush has sought to meet the
original goals of welfare reform by proposing, as part of welfare
reauthorization, a new model program to promote healthy marriage.
The proposed program would seek to increase healthy marriage by
providing individuals and couples with:
- Accurate information on the value of
marriage in the lives of men, women, and children;
- Marriage-skills education that will enable
couples to reduce conflict and increase the happiness and longevity
of their relationship; and
- Experimental reductions in the financial
penalties against marriage that are currently contained in all
federal welfare programs.
participation in the President's marriage program would be
voluntary. The initiative would utilize existing marriage-skills
education programs that have proven effective in decreasing
conflict and increasing happiness and stability among couples;
these programs have also been shown to be effective in reducing
domestic violence. The pro-marriage initiative
would not merely seek to increase marriage rates among target
couples, but also would provide ongoing support to help at-risk
couples maintain healthy marriages over time.
President's healthy marriage initiative is often characterized as
seeking to increase marriage among welfare (TANF) recipients. This
is somewhat inaccurate. Most welfare mothers have poor
relationships with their children's father; in many cases, the
relationship disintegrated long ago. Attempting to promote healthy
marriage in these situations is a bit like trying to glue
Humpty-Dumpty together after he has fallen off the wall. By
contrast, a well-designed marriage initiative would target women
and men earlier in their lives when attitudes and relationships
were initially being formed. It would also seek to strengthen
existing marriages to reduce divorce.
Typically, such marriage-promotion
programs would provide information about the long-term value of
marriage to at-risk high school students. They would teach
relationship skills to unmarried couples before the woman became
pregnant, with a focus on preventing pregnancy before a couple has
made a commitment to healthy marriage; they would also provide
marriage and relationship education to unmarried couples at the
"magic moment" of a child's birth and offer marriage-skills
training to low-income married couples to improve marriage quality
and reduce the odds of divorce.
primary focus of these marriage programs would be preventative, not
reparative. They would seek to prevent the isolation and poverty of
welfare mothers by intervening at an early point before a pattern
of broken relationships and welfare dependence had emerged. By
fostering better life decisions and stronger relationship skills,
marriage programs can increase child well-being and adult happiness
and reduce child poverty and welfare dependence.
President's healthy marriage initiative has been included in the
three major TANF reauthorization bills, including the Personal
Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2003 (H.R. 4)
passed by the House of Representatives in February 2003. It also
has been included in the Compassion and Personal Responsibility Act
(S. 5) introduced by Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) and will be included
in the Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for
Everyone (PRIDE) bill soon to be introduced by Senator Charles
Grassley (R-IA) in the Senate.
proposal creates two separate funds to promote marriage. In the
first, $100 million per year would be provided in grants to state
government for programs to promote healthy marriage. Participation
would be voluntary and competitive. States would neither be
required to participate nor guaranteed funds; instead, they would
compete for funding by submitting program proposals to the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The states with the
best proposals would be selected to receive funds. States receiving
funding would be required to match federal grants with state funds.
In the second fund, another $100 million per year would be
allocated in competitive grants to states, local governments, and
funding pools could be used for a specified set of activities
consistent with the overarching strategy of promoting healthy
marriage. These activities would include:
- Public advertising campaigns on the value
of marriage and skills needed to increase marital stability and
- Education in high schools on the value of
marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting;
- Marriage education, marriage skills, and
relationship skills programs, which may include parenting skills,
financial management, conflict resolution, and job and career
advancement, for non-married pregnant women and non-married
- Pre-marital education and marriage-skills
training for engaged couples and for couples or individuals
interested in marriage;
- Marriage-enhancement and marriage-skills
training for married couples;
- Divorce-reduction programs that teach
- Marriage mentoring programs that use
married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities;
- Programs to reduce the disincentives to
marriage in means-tested aid programs, if offered in conjunction
with any of the above activities.
of the debate about marriage strengthening will center on this list
of allowable uses of marriage funds. Opponents of the President's
initiative will seek to broaden the list to include activities that
have little or no link to marriage.
Criticisms of the President's Plan
President's healthy marriage initiative has been criticized on a
number of grounds. Each of these criticisms is inaccurate.
Participation. Critics charge that welfare mothers would
be forced to participate in marriage education. In fact, all
participation would be voluntary. Services would be provided only
to individuals or couples interested in them.
Domestic Violence. Critics charge that the program would
increase domestic violence by coercing or encouraging women to
remain in dangerous relationships. In fact, marriage-skills and
relationship-skills training has been shown to reduce, not
increase, domestic violence. Such programs help women
steer clear of dangerous and counterproductive relationships.
Moreover, the domestic violence rate is
less widespread among low-income couples than is generally assumed.
For example, three-quarters of non-married mothers are romantically
involved with the child's father at the time of the non-marital
birth; only 2 percent of these women have experienced domestic
violence in their relationship with the father. In general, domestic
violence is more common in cohabiting relationships than in
marriage: never-married mothers, for example, are twice as likely
to experience domestic violence than are mothers who have
- Shortage of
Marriageable Men. Critics argue that marriage is
impractical in low-income communities because men earn too little
to be attractive spouses. This is not true. As noted, nearly
three-quarters of non-married mothers are cohabiting or
romantically involved with the child's father at the time of the
birth. The median income of these non-married fathers is $17,500
per year. Some 70 percent of poor single mothers would be lifted
out of poverty if they married the father of their children.
Ineffectiveness of Marriage-Skills Programs. Critics
charge that marriage-skills programs are ineffective. The facts
show exactly the opposite: Over 100 separate evaluations of
marriage training programs have already shown that, in general,
these programs can reduce strife, improve communications skills,
increase stability, and enhance marital happiness.
- Bribes to
Marry. Critics charge that the marriage program will bribe
low-income women to marry unwisely. This is not true. As noted, all
means-tested welfare programs such as TANF, food stamps, and public
housing contain significant financial penalties against marriage.
The marriage program would experiment with selectively reducing
these penalties against marriage.
Expensive. The President proposes spending $300 million
per year on his model marriage program ($200 million in federal
funds and $100 million in state funds). This sum represents only
one cent to promote healthy marriage for every five dollars the
government currently spends subsidizing single-parent families.
Opposition. Critics claim that the public opposes programs
to strengthen marriage. In fact, Oklahoma has operated a marriage
program similar to the President's proposal for several years. Most
Oklahomans are familiar with this program; 85 percent of Oklahomans
support the program, and only 15 percent oppose it.
- Low-Income Women
Not Interested. Critics charge that low-income women are
not interested in marriage and marriage-skills training. However,
at the time of their child's birth, more than 75 percent of
non-married mothers say they are interested in marrying their
child's father. In Oklahoma, 72 percent of women who have received
welfare say that they are interested in receiving marriage-skills
The Marriage-Plus Snare
Direct attacks on the President's
initiative have drawn few supporters. More threatening is a
strategy to deflect the President's pro-marriage agenda by
substituting a counterfeit policy that promotes healthy marriage in
name but not in substance. This counterfeit agenda is termed
the surface, marriage-plus advocates often sound like ardent
marriage supporters. For example, marriage-plus proponent Theodora
Ooms of the Center on Law and Social Policy affirms the value of
marriage to children, adults, and society, stating that "society
should try to help more children grow up with their two biological,
married parents in a reasonably healthy, stable relationship."
Much of what Ooms supports is both good
policy and common sense. For example, she argues that participation
in marriage programs should be voluntary and that the policy goal
should be "healthy marriage, not marriage for its own sake." Both
of these ideas are integral parts of the President's plan.
Some of the activities that would be
funded under marriage-plus schemes are also part of the President's
pro-marriage agenda. For example, marriage-plus proponents wish to
provide marriage-skills education, promote marriage among unmarried
"fragile families" at the time of a child's birth, and reduce the
penalties against marriage in the welfare system.
However, the marriage-plus agenda differs
sharply from the President's initiative, H.R. 4, S. 5, and the
PRIDE bill by adding four extra spending categories: job training,
fatherhood programs aimed at increasing child-support collections,
pregnancy prevention and contraceptive promotion, and traditional
welfare programs to "fight poverty." These spending categories
would have little or nothing to do with marriage, and their
inclusion in any "marriage" legislation would dramatically sap the
funds available for authentic pro-marriage initiatives.
The federal government already spends over $6.2
billion per year on job training. Since the beginning of the
War on Poverty, overall spending on job training has exceeded $257
The notion that fathers' lack of employability is the principal
barrier to marriage is inaccurate. The typical unmarried father
earns $17,500 per year. Attitudes about marriage and relationship
skills are far more significant obstacles to healthy marriage than
are male wages.
Moreover, rigorous scientific evaluations
have found government employment and training programs to have
either no impact or a minuscule impact on wage rates. For
example, a large-scale evaluation of the Job Training Partnership
Act (JTPA) showed that the program raised the hourly wage rates of
female trainees by 3.4 percent and male trainees by zero.
Under H.R 4, job training may be provided,
if needed, to individuals participating in marriage-skills and
marriage-enhancement programs. To add job training as a stand-alone
spending category within a "marriage" funding stream would cripple
any future marriage program.
Prevention and Contraceptive Promotion
Marriage-plus advocates urge that marriage funds
should be diverted to contraceptive programs on the grounds that
once women have had children out of wedlock, they are less likely
to marry in the future. But government already spends over $1.9
billion per year on pregnancy prevention and contraceptive
promotion through programs such as Medicaid, TANF, Adolescent
Sexual Health, and Title X. Overall, current funding
for contraception/pregnancy prevention dwarfs the proposed funding
for marriage; diverting limited marriage funds to even more
contraceptive spending would clearly cripple any marriage
However, the President's healthy marriage
initiative would promote the goal of preventing non-marital
pregnancy in another, broader sense. Marriage programs would seek
to encourage women to enter healthy marriages before becoming
pregnant. In many cases, this would involve encouraging women to
avoid pregnancy until they have become more mature and more capable
of sustaining a viable healthy relationship. This approach would
differ greatly from simply handing out contraceptives.
Child Support Collections
Marriage programs differ greatly from fatherhood
programs. Marriage-promotion programs deal with individuals early
in their lives or early in their relationship when the prospects
for healthy marriage are strongest. Typically, marriage programs
would deal with high-school students, young adults interested in
marriage, engaged couples, or non-married couples at the "magic
moment" of a child's birth. Marriage programs might also help
currently married couples to enhance marital stability and reduce
the likelihood of divorce.
contrast, fatherhood programs generally deal with couples long
after their relationships have failed, at a time when healthy
marriage is least likely to occur. Fatherhood programs typically
serve divorced fathers or non-married fathers who have had a broken
relationship with the mothers of their children for several years.
Typically, these fathers are failing to pay child support and have
only intermittent contact either with their children or with the
child's mother. These couples are poor candidates for marriage;
consequently, most fatherhood programs do not have marriage as a
major goal, but instead seek to increase child support payments and
visitation of children by absent fathers.
Despite a general lack of success,
fatherhood programs are currently well-funded. States spend around
$100 million per year in TANF funds on fatherhood programs. H.R. 4 and
the PRIDE bill would increase funding for fatherhood by $20 million
per year. Overall, marriage and fatherhood programs have little in
common. Fatherhood programs, in general, have little interest in
marriage and serve clients for whom healthy marriage is, at
present, not a likely option. To divert marriage funds into such
fatherhood programs would therefore be counterproductive.
by Reducing Poverty
Marriage-plus supporters also wish to "promote
marriage" by relieving economic stress and poverty. In
practice, this means increasing benefits and services through
conventional welfare programs that benefit primarily single
notable example of this strategy is the Minnesota Family Investment
Program (MFIP). MFIP was an income-support program designed to
raise the income of welfare families by allowing them to retain a
greater share of AFDC/TANF benefits while holding a job. Ninety
percent of MFIP beneficiaries were single parents. True, evaluation
did show that one side effect of MFIP was a very modest increase in
marriage rates among beneficiaries, but this effect was purely
accidental.MFIP was neither designed nor intended to increase
marriage; the desirability of marriage was never mentioned as part
of the program. Despite the fact that increasing marriage was not
an MFIP goal and any pro-marriage effects of the program were
strictly accidental, liberals now promote MFIP as a "marriage
program" par excellence.
fact, programs like MFIP could be funded under the President's
healthy marriage initiative, H.R. 4, and the PRIDE bill if they
were combined with marriage-skills training. However, this
compromise is unsatisfactory to liberals who demand that MFIP
should be funded as a stand-alone component of any marriage
promotion of the unmodified MFIP as a "marriage" program is a clear
example of efforts to hijack the healthy marriage agenda. MFIP has
long been a pet program of liberals for reasons that have nothing
to do with marriage. The main goal of MFIP was to raise the income
of welfare families, who are primarily single parents.
state-level bureaucrats who are nervous about the marriage issue,
MFIP represents a golden opportunity to divert marriage funds into
a conventional welfare agenda. MFIP differs little from what most
states have already done as part of welfare reform. If included as
part of healthy marriage legislation, MFIP would allow state
bureaucrats to claim that existing TANF "earnings disregards" are
already pro-marriage initiatives, thereby greatly reducing any
prospects for real change.
Ironically, counting MFIP as a marriage
program would allow bureaucrats to fund and operate a "marriage"
program without even mentioning the fearsome "m" word. Clearly,
including an unmodified MFIP as an allowable component of the
healthy marriage initiative would severely dissipate available
Marriage Plus: A Concrete Example
clear illustration of the marriage-plus agenda can be seen in a
paper published last year at the Center for Law and Social Policy
(CLASP), authored by Jodie Levin-Epstein, Theodora Ooms, and
After lauding the importance of marriage to children, the authors
urge that the proposed funding for marriage promotion in welfare
reauthorization should be cut from $300 million per year to $100
million. Further, they argue that the $100 million pot should be
divided into thirds: one-third for pregnancy prevention, one-third
for child support collections, and one-third for marriage
Under this proposal, the funding for
marriage promotion would be cut by nearly 90 percent, from $300
million to $33 million. With friends like these, marriage promotion
does not need any enemies.
The Baucus Marriage Program: An Earmark
for Everything Under the Sun
Another example of a "marriage plus"
agenda is the WORK act introduced by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) in
the Senate Finance Committee in June 2002. As part of the overall
welfare reauthorization package, the WORK bill would allocate $200
million per year to a "healthy marriage promotion grants"
this program is about marriage in name only. Indeed, most of the
activities that qualify for funding under the Baucus marriage
program have nothing to do with marriage. For example, the bill's
list of fundable marriage activities includes "broad-based income
support and supplementation strategies...that provide increased
assistance to low income working families, such as housing,
transportation, and transitional benefits, and that do not exclude
families from participation based on the number of parents in the
provision means that, under the Baucus bill, providing cash, public
housing, health care, or day care to single mothers would
constitute a "pro-marriage" activity. In other words, the marriage
grant program is designed to support the vast array of conventional
welfare services rather than to promote and support healthy
unfortunate fact that Senator Baucus's "healthy marriage promotion"
program has nothing to do with marriage should not be surprising.
Senator Baucus has publicly stated that, while it is imperative for
the government to spend hundreds of billions of dollars subsidizing
single parenthood, he would oppose spending even modest sums to
promote healthy marriages because marriage "is not something the
government should interfere with." Regrettably but
understandably, his marriage program is not about marriage.
Are Legislative Details Really that
Under most healthy-marriage legislation,
all grants would be allocated competitively by HHS. Thus, it could
be argued that the array of activities that would be fundable under
the legislation would not be critical since the Bush Administration
could steer funds to sincere marriage initiatives irrespective of
the broadness of the underlying legislative language.
a hope is shortsighted. If the actual marriage legislation listed
an open-ended array of allowable "marriage" activities, it would be
difficult for the Administration to exclude funding job training,
pregnancy prevention, and other marriage-plus programs.
Moreover, if enacted, the healthy marriage
initiative will set the foundation for marriage policy for a decade
or longer. If, at the onset, the marriage program incorporates
elements that have little or nothing to do with marriage, over time
it would prove very difficult to prevent the HHS bureaucracy from
diverting substantial funds to non-marriage activities. This would
be especially true in any future Administration that might be
unsympathetic to the marriage agenda.
institution of marriage has been shown to be of overwhelming
benefit to children, adults, and society; but for more than 50
years, government policy has discouraged marriage. There is now a
broad consensus that this trend should be reversed and that
government should promote healthy marriage. Marriage promotion has
the potential to significantly decrease poverty and dependence
while increasing child well-being and adult happiness.
response to these trends, President Bush has developed a pilot
initiative that would fund innovative programs aimed at promoting
marriage. Opponents of the President's initiative have proposed an
alternative strategy termed "marriage plus." This alternative is a
counterfeit. While proponents of "marriage plus" pay lip service to
the importance of marriage, their plan would channel funds into
conventional benefits and services that already are amply funded by
the government and have little or no linkage to marriage.
many respects, marriage plus simply pastes the word "marriage" on
top of existing government programs. But the issue of marriage is
too important for this type of semantic subterfuge. Marriage has
declined steadily for 40 years with devastating effects on society.
What is needed is not more of the status quo, but new programs
aimed at increasing healthy marriage. H.R. 4, S. 5, and the PRIDE
bill would create these badly needed programs.
Rector is Senior Research Fellow in Domestic
Policy, Melissa G. Pardue is Harry and
Jeanette Weinberg Fellow in Social Welfare Policy, and
Lauren R. Noyes is Director of Research Projects in
Domestic Policy at The Heritage Foundation.