Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) wants to change the way Americans think of welfare.
And to that end, she suggest during a House speech Wednesday, we should start thinking of welfare as a “transitional living fund.”
"Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of a transitional living fund," she said in a speech that praised the so-called “war on poverty” and government welfare programs. "For that is what it is -- for people to be able to live."
“(T)he safety net has to be something for all of us,” she added.
Things like the food stamp program, Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare are “safety nets,” she argued, not “handouts.”
Later in her speech, she produced a photo of people waiting in line, explaining that they are “possibly looking for work.”
We simply can’t know who in that photo is “near the edge of poverty or living in poverty simply because they cannot find work,” she said.
She continued, urging Congress to pass a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, or as she put it, “a transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed.”
"Quite frankly, of all the wealthy nations, we have the lowest safety net and the highest poverty, because we're not willing to accept the fact that sometimes an American needs help. Even a veteran -- even a soldier,” she said. “So today, I honor the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty, Mr. Speaker, and I ask us not to give up the fight because the American people are looking to us to win the war."
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