Ashcroft is addressing a White House conference on faith-based
initiatives. President Bush is addressing the daylong conference
via a recorded videotape.
The conference is the third in a series of such meetings held
around the country since Bush announced his plan in January 2001.
The plan allows religious groups to receive federal funding to
provide social services to the needy.
The program's critics say it violates the constitutional
separation of church and state.