President Biden on Wednesday asked if Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who was killed in a car accident last month, was in attendance at a White House hunger conference.
Biden was delivering a speech at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health when he recognized the lawmakers who helped make the event a reality.
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“I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. [Jim] McGovern, Sen. [Mike] Braun, Sen. [Cory] Booker, Rep. … Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” Biden said, referring to Walorski.
Shortly after Biden spoke, White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice moderated a panel at the conference and acknowledged Walorski’s death.
Walorski and two staffers were killed in an Aug. 3 car accident. She had served in Congress since 2013.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the incident during a press briefing later Wednesday.
“The president was naming the congressional champions on this issue and was acknowledging her incredible work,” Jean-Pierre said, adding multiple times that Walorski was “top of mind” for Biden.
Biden will welcome Walorski’s family to the White House on Friday to sign a bill renaming a Veterans Affairs clinic after the late congresswoman, Jean-Pierre said.
“I don’t think it’s all that unusual to have someone top of mind, especially as there’s a big event — two big events, today and also Friday — that’s going to occur,” she added.
During her time in Congress, Walorski made combating hunger and malnutrition a key part of her work. She co-chaired the House Hunger Caucus with McGovern (D-Mass.), and she co-sponsored legislation with McGovern, Booker (D-N.J.) and Braun (R-Ind.) to convene the White House conference that took place on Wednesday. Such an event had not been held at that level in decades.
Source: thehill.com; dailymail.co.uk