Biden speaks to White House conference
The 1969 White House conference on hunger led to “transformational change” such as the expansion of federal nutrition program that has helped people “lead better lives,” but advances in research since that time make it possible to “do more” to make the United States “a stronger and healthier nation,” President Biden said today at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.
Biden did not spend much time on the specifics of the lengthy national strategy the White House has released, but he did say Congress should pass an expansion of the child tax credit and make it permanent. Biden acknowledged that he has failed at that goal but said, “We’ll get it done this time.”
The fact that fewer people live below the poverty line today, Biden said, shows that the United States can make progress on these issues.
Meeting the strategy’s “bold goals,” Biden said, requires a “whole of government” approach to reach some goals and a “whole of society” approach to reach others.
Biden took credit for improving the economy and passing major pieces of legislation but added, “There is always more we can do.”
During opening remarks on Hurricane Ian, Biden also warned the energy industry: “Do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices.”
Biden ended his speech by urging unity on the anti-hunger and nutrition issues.
He also called on the attendees to “restore some of the decency” in America. He recalled his friendship with the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., saying they could fight on the Senate floor and then have lunch together.
He also noted that after the 1969 conference organized by the Nixon White House, Sens. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and George McGovern, D-S.D., worked together to achieve many of the goals.
“Looking at you, I know we can do this,” Biden said.
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