In this testimony before the Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, the benefits of State and community healthy marriage initiatives are discussed. The testimony begins by describing the Bush Administration's promotion of marriage and federal funding to support demonstration programs and research and evaluation projects on healthy marriage. State initiatives are reviewed, as well as the controversy surrounding government involvement in promoting marriage. The need to build consensus through a marriage plus perspective is stressed and three positive trends are noted: increased attention to prevention, expanded efforts to reach low-income couples in a variety of settings, and interest in economic and other indirect strategies. The goals of marriage-plus are then explained and include helping more children grow up with their two biological, married parents in a healthy, stable relationship, and helping all parents to be financially capable and responsibility and to cooperate whenever appropriate in raising their children. Concerns about marriage policies and programs are addressed, and key provisions that will foster bipartisan support for marriage programs are highlighted. 17 references.
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Testimony of Theodora Ooms, Center for Law and Social Policy, before the Committee on FinanceSubcommittee on Social Security and Family PolicyUnited States Senate Hearing on The Benefits of a Healthy Marriage, May 5, 2004.