President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden packed carrots and apples into boxes of food for the hungry and chatted with volunteers Sunday at a food bank as part of a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr.Day.
The couple traveled about half an hour from their residence in Wilmington, Delaware, to Philabundance, a hunger relief organization in Philadelphia that serves about 140,000 people a week in the Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey area. Before heading to the warehouse where conveyor belts carried boxes full of donated food, Biden said the child tax credit needed to be renewed.
The traditional day of service is a holiday, Monday, but there was a major winter storm heading into the area and events were rescheduled in the area.
The monthly credits were part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package – and the president had offered to extend them for another full year as part of a separate measure focused on economic and social programs . The extra boost was used by families to buy food and other supplies.
But Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., opposed the credit extension over fears the money would discourage people from working and that any additional federal spending would fuel inflation that has already peaked near 40 years old.
“The child tax credit has been very helpful. We have to renew it,” Biden said.
They headed to the warehouse as Angie Stone’s “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” played softly, put on gloves and got to work. Jill Biden wore a Philadelphia Eagles t-shirt under her blazer as a nod to the team’s Sunday afternoon playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Biden chatted with volunteers, including a man standing by a crate of macaroni and cheese who told the president his daughter was a teacher. Biden spoke about the first lady’s teaching career, then asked the man for his daughter’s number and said he would give her a ring.
The food boxes contained spices, fruits, vegetables, noodles, tea and juice boxes as well as peanut butter and chickpeas.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., said the Senate would pass voting rights legislation on Tuesday, missing a deadline he originally set for action by Monday, which is on MLK Day. Biden spoke forcefully about the need to pass the legislation, comparing modern concerns about electoral subversion and increasing state voting restrictions to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Biden said last week that ‘he supported changing Senate rules to allow the narrow Democratic majority to pass the package, although he later acknowledged the uncertainty it could pass Congress this year following objections from Manchin and the senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.