President Joe Biden asked a crowd at a hunger conference to point out Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski but Walorski has been dead for nearly two months after she was killed in a car crash in Indiana.
Biden, 79, was thanking lawmakers from both sides of the aisle for their help with his plan to end hunger in the United States. Biden called out Republican Senator Mike Braun and Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey.
Next, he called out for the deceased Indiana Congresswoman. “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” he said before mumbling, “She must not be here.”
Biden issued a statement when she died that said:
“Jill and I are shocked and saddened by the death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana along with two members of her staff in a car accident today in Indiana.
“Born in her beloved South Bend as the daughter of a meat-cutter and firefighter, she spent a lifetime serving the community that she grew up in – as a journalist, a nonprofit director, a state legislator, and eventually as a Member of Congress for the past nine and half years.
“We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee on which she served.
“She also served as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, and my team and I appreciated her partnership as we plan for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this fall that will be marked by her deep care for the needs of rural America.
“We send our deepest condolences to her husband, Dean, to the families of her staff members, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson, who lost their lives in public service, and to the people of Indiana’s Second District who lost a representative who was one of their own,” he said.
The crash happened near the intersection of SR 19 and SR 119.
Four people were killed in the crash. Three people in an SUV were killed. Walorski, Zachery Potts and Emma Thompson.
The Veterans Affairs Clinic in Mishawaka, Indiana is now named the “Jackie Walorski VA Clinic” after the late House representative and congresswoman.
The Indiana state delegation in Washington DC introduced a bipartisan resolution last week to rename the St. Joseph Department of Veterans Affairs clinic and on Friday the bill, H.R.8656, passed.
According to a news release from US Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana’s 3rd District, the bipartisan bill passed unanimously. Banks said in the release that the feeling was bittersweet.