On Thursday, Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was so worked up about Republican legislation to stop the Obama administration’s welfare work requirement waivers that she exited an anti-bullying event early, joking that she would be breaking traffic laws to cast her vote in opposition.
“Please forgive me if I run out for a vote and a debate. I am going to run back. We’ll probably break all traffic rules, but I want you to be engaged. And I don’t want anybody hear about what traffic rule I’ve broken, but I want all of you to be engaged,” she urged the gathering of anti-bullying advocates and school children.
Lee left quickly in the middle of the event she headlined — “Bullying – Sticks & Stones: Changing the Face of the 21st Century” — to oppose to the Republican measure.
“My friends are now on the Hill. I’m going to have to run back, because the waiver that was given to give people flexibility on TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ] is now — that’s what we call giving flexibility in the national, making a statement of cooperation and working with government, state governments, meaning flexibility in the welfare concept, which I am so glad [the Obama administration] did,” she told the gathering. “So now my friends on the other side of the aisle, representing the 53 versus 47 percent — a little humor here, I’m going to get to the point, but in any event — they are trying to repeal the flexibility that our government so rightly so has given and sitting us in hearings saying that we over regulate.”
Despite a reputation for bullying her own staff, Lee has been championing anti-bullying legislation and pushing for more efforts to end bullying.
“Bullying prevention and intervention is not only about caring for our young people, it is about caring for our future, so bullying brings about bully-cide, suicide, cyber-bullying, and it does not end with our children on the playground,” she said. “It exists on college campuses, workplaces, online and even elderly care facilities.”
The Daily Caller revealed last year that in conjunction with her hot temper with staff, she has a reputation for ignoring traffic laws, with former drivers saying she would demand they run red lights and take highway shoulders to expedite travel times — something that has resulted in at least one accident.
Later in the day, the House passed legislation that would reverse the Obama administration’s new guidelines relaxing the work requirement for welfare.
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Videography by Sarah Hofmann