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Sheila Jackson Lee suggests renaming 'welfare' to 'a transitional living fund'

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas
Alex Wong/Getty Images

While singing the praises of government welfare programs from the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the Texas Democrat once dubbed the "Congressional boss from Hell," suggested renaming welfare to something a bit more politically correct, CNS News reported.

"Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of, 'a transitional living fund.' For that is what it is -- for people to be able to live," she suggested.

She praised the Earned Income Credit, food and nutrition programs, jobs training and education programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare as "huge safety nets -- not handouts, but safety nets," CNS added.

To illustrate her point, Jackson Lee showed a photo of people in a line "who are possibly looking for work."

There's no way to know, she added, which of the people in the picture "are near the edge of poverty or living in poverty simply because they cannot find work."

Jackson Lee encouraged the House to pass emergency unemployment insurance, something she called "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.

On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement in which he called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program something that is only put in place in the worst economic conditions, which he placed square on the shoulders of Barack Obama.

"According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the recent program, which went into place as we entered a recession in 2008, was in place longer (66 months), was extended more times (12), aided more people (24 million), cost more ($265 billion), and added more to the debt ($210 billion) than any previous program," he wrote.

The solution to joblessness, he said, is more jobs.

Boehner also said the Senate is currently sitting on dozens of bills he said would "provide job skills training for the unemployed, ease job-destroying burdens on small businesses, promote innovation and education, create energy and infrastructure jobs, and get rid of the president’s health care law that is making it harder to hire workers in this country."

Boehner also said that any extension of unemployment benefits needs to be paid for.

“One month ago I personally told the White House that another extension of temporary emergency unemployment benefits should not only be paid for but include something to help put people back to work. To date, the president has offered no such plan. If he does, I’ll be happy to discuss it, but right now the House is going to remain focused on growing the economy and giving America’s unemployed the independence that only comes from finding a good job," he added.



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