Fifty years after the war on poverty began, Rep. Sheila Jackson, D-Texas, says she wants to change the word â€śwelfareâ€ť to â€śtransitional living fund.â€ť
"Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of, 'a transitional living fund.' For that is what it is â€“ for people to be able to live," Jackson said while urging Congress to pass a bill to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.
She referred to this as â€śa transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed.â€ť
â€śThe unemployed are in everyoneâ€™s district,â€ť she said. â€ś1.3 million that are chronically unemployed, who is on the brink of poverty, who is not able to secure a safety net.â€ť
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Jackson said this safety net is made up of the Earned Income Credit, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, jobs training and education programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act.
â€ś(T)he safety net has to be something for all of us,â€ť she added.
â€śQuite frankly, of all the wealthy nations, we have the lowest safety net and the highest poverty, because weâ€™re not willing to accept the fact that sometimes an American needs help. Even a veteran â€” even a soldier,â€ť she said. â€śSo 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.â€ť