Joe Biden has signed a bill honoring the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, just days after he forgot that she died.
On Wednesday, Biden asked if Walorski was in attendance at a White House event he was speaking at, apparently forgetting that the lawmaker died in a car accident last month.
“I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. [Jim] McGovern (D-Mass.), Sen. [Mike] Braun (R-Ind.), Sen. Cory [Booker] (D-N.J.), Rep. … Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?,” Biden asked.
“Jackie are you here? Where’s Jackie?”
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) died in a car accident in August pic.twitter.com/cHc3b7zPmE
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) September 28, 2022
On August 3, Walorski was killed in a head-on collision in Indiana, along with her district director Zachery Potts, 27, and her communications director Emma Thomson, 28. The driver and sole occupant of the other vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56, was also killed.
Biden signed a bill honoring the late Republican on Friday, which renames the clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Mishawaka, Indiana, as the Jackie Walorski VA Clinic.
The bill was signed by Biden in a private ceremony with members of Walorski’s family and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“The president has been looking forward to hosting the late representative’s family and other lawmakers to honor her legacy,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Friday. “Clearly this is an important moment for her, for her family.”
In August, Biden’s administration had put out a statement mourning Walorski’s death.
“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,” the statement began.
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”