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Mr. LINDER. Mr. Speaker, some Democrats have said the welfare expansion in this bill is about jobs. It's not. It's about more welfare.
This bill would expand the welfare emergency fund Democrats created in last year's failed stimulus bill. That fund made available up to $5 billion in new ``welfare emergency funds'' over fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The bill before us would make available another up to $5 billion for just fiscal year 2011, which starts in October.
So they propose to double the welfare funds for this program, all in just one year.
That is so much new welfare money that CBO estimates States wouldn't be able to spend it all. Still, the $3.5 billion CBO estimates States would spend next year would almost match the $4 billion States have spent in the last two years.
No matter how you slice it, spending out of this welfare emergency fund would accelerate rapidly under this bill.
What would this money be spent on? The same things it is currently spent on--almost exclusively more and bigger welfare checks.
The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has prepared a report on how the welfare emergency fund has been spent so far. As of July 22, 2010, only 25 percent had been spent on ``subsidized employment,'' or the salaries of what are short-term positions.
And data from liberal advocates for these programs admit that nearly half of those positions have been summer youth jobs. Since summer is just about over, many of the jobs the other side talks about are nearly over, too.
And the other side's own rhetoric admits these jobs in general are as temporary as the Federal funding--which must be extended, they say, or else the ``jobs'' will end.
The fact is, despite the other side's newfound but empty ``jobs'' rhetoric, a full 75 percent of this money has been spent on basic assistance--that is, on welfare benefits.
But these are not just any welfare checks. States have had to be creative to spend this welfare emergency fund money.
Last summer New York State used its share of welfare emergency funds to provide one-time $200 ``back to school checks'' to families already on welfare. Instead of spending the money on back to school supplies, many recipients used the money, as CBS News put it, to purchase ``flat screen TVs, iPods and video gaming systems.'' Convenience stores in low-income areas ``noted marked increases in beer, lotto and cigarette sales.''
Perhaps our colleagues think that creates jobs.
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