Tuesday, January 31

Biden takes aim at food insecurity with first hunger conference in 50 years – live


Why is the White House convening a summit on food insecurity for the first time in half a century? As The Guardian’s Nina Lakhani reports, a combination of high inflation and the end of pandemic support programs has squeezed vulnerable households, prompting the Biden administration to step in with a pledge to end hunger by 2030. Here’s more from her report:

When was the last food conference?

The last food conference, hosted by Richard Nixon in 1969, was a pivotal moment in American food policy that led to the expansion of food stamps and gave rise to the Women, Infants and Children program that today provides parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance to the mothers of half the babies born each year.

How bad is hunger in the US now?

One in 10 households struggled to feed their families in 2021 due to poverty – an extraordinary level of food insecurity in the richest country in the world. The rate has barely budged in the past two decades amid deepening economic inequalities and welfare cuts.

Food insecurity remains stubbornly high in the US, with only a slight downward trend from 2021 – but significantly lower than 2020 when the Covid shutdown and widespread layoffs led to record numbers of Americans relying on food banks and food stamps to get by.

The conference comes as the cost of food is soaring due to double-digit inflation, and amid fears of recession. The cost of groceries in July was up 13.1% compared with last year, with the price of cereal, bread and dairy products rising even higher, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Also Read  St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs Game 2 odds, picks and predictions

Households are under more pressure as states roll back pandemic-linked financial support such as free school meals for every child and child tax credits. Many states are stopping expanded food stamp benefits.

Real-time data from the US Census survey “suggest that food hardship has been steadily rising in families with children this year”, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, recently told the Guardian.

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The United States may be the world’s biggest economy and one of the wealthiest nations on the planet but everyday, many Americans struggle to provide enough food for their family. The Biden administration will today convene the first summit in 50 years aimed at turning around this trend, with the goal of ending hunger by 2030 and reducing diseases related to nutrition. Joe Biden will speak at the event at 10am ET.

“,”elementId”:”2c467109-1899-4691-8fe6-65267db066c1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here’s what else is happening today:

“,”elementId”:”2d820a7c-7291-46ae-bc73-b012f9712993″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    n

  • Hurricane Ian continues churning towards Florida’s west coast, after hitting Cuba and knocking out its entire electrical grid. It’s expected to make landfall today amid fears of a devastating storm surge.

  • n

  • Sanctions chiefs from the state and treasury departments will testify before the Senate foreign relations committee about whether the campaign to punish Russia for invading Ukraine is working, at 10 am eastern time.

  • n

  • The Senate will continue negotiating a short-term government funding measure to prevent a shutdown on 1 October, after conservative Democrat Joe Manchin dropped a controversial energy permitting provision that threatened to hold up the bill.

  • n

“,”elementId”:”a7c192d3-4df6-453c-83c1-52d0309f4f5d”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1664369586000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”13.53 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1664369357000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”13.49 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1664369586000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.53 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.53″,”title”:”Biden takes aim at food insecurity in the wealthy but hungry United States”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 28 Sep 2022 16.17 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 28 Sep 2022 13.53 BST”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”format”:{“display”:0,”theme”:0,”design”:10},”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Key events

Nina Lakhani

Biden is going into the main pillars of the national hunger and nutrition strategy released on Tuesday, which includes a slew of goals to help end food insecurity, give people more information and options to eat more healthily, and help folks take up regular physical activity.

Unfortunately, the goals are more a call to action, as Congress has ended Covid-era policies like the universal free school meals program and the expanded child tax credits which had massively reduced food insecurity and child poverty in the US.

“I’m calling on Congress to make the expanded child tax credit permanent. We’ve tried, and didn’t get it done the first time, but we’ll get it done next time,” said Biden rather optimistically, given the extremely unlikely scenario that the Democrats win convincing majorities in the midterms.

Nina Lakhani

Turning to the issue of hunger, Biden begins with reference to the transformational changes inspired by Nixon’s 1969 conference, and that he believes the advances in nutrition and technology since then can make “America healthier and stronger as a nation.”

He references the reduction in child poverty from one in four kids 30 years ago, to one in 20 today as evidence that his “bold goal to end hunger by 2030 and lower the toll of diet related diseases” can become a reality.

Biden has kicked off his remarks by warning of the destructive power of Hurricane Ian as it approaches the Florida coast, and pledging that his administration will help affected states recover.

“I made it clear to the governor and the mayors that the federal government is ready to help in every single way possible… We’ll be there every step of the way,” the president said.

After knocking out power to Cuba when it struck the island, emergency planners fear Ian could cause grievous damage to Florida. Follow The Guardian’s live blog for the latest on the storm:

Nina Lakhani

More than 500 people are attending today’s White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health – the first since former president Richard Nixon hosted one in 1969.

Joe Biden has just begun giving his remarks, and he will be appearing alongside cabinet members Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture, and Xavier Becerra, secretary of health and human services, as well as a crew of legislators with a special interest in hunger and nutrition including Debbie Stabenow, Cory Booker, and Jim McGovern. Also, there is ambassador Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy advisor and Spanish chef José Ramón Andrés Puerta, founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit providing meals in the wake of natural disasters and in Ukraine.

Biden has frequently commented on the long lines of cars at food banks during the first years of the pandemic, when government shutdowns and widespread layoffs and furloughs led to millions of families relying on food aid for the first time ever. Still, it’s not a new phenomena; while the introduction of means-tested food stamps, free school lunches and other nutrition benefits has led to a decline in food insecurity since Nixon’s conference, it’s barely budged in the past two decades, with major spikes during the Great Recession and first year of Covid.

Nixon will forever be President Watergate, but it’s worth remembering some landmark progressive laws approved with bipartisan support during his time in the White House, a feat that seems almost impossible today given the deep political polarisation. Major environmental justice policy wins included food stamps, the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Water Act, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

We’re awaiting president Joe Biden’s address at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, where he’s expected to outline how his administration will reach its goal of ending hunger in the United States by 2030.

You can watch his live remarks delivered in Washington below:

Meanwhile, Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed the White House’s push, saying in a statement, “President Kennedy once told the World Food Congress: ‘We have the capacity to eliminate hunger from the face of the earth in our lifetime. We need only the will.’ Inspired by the tireless efforts of advocates across the country, House Democrats will never relent in our fight to build a future free from hunger, food insecurity and diet-related disease.”

For those whom a book about Trump isn’t enough, here’s the former president calling for negotiating with Russia to end the war in Ukraine, and mulling himself as head of the group.

Here’s what he said, from Politico:

Seems unlikely that Trump will be taken up on his offer to negotiate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war pic.twitter.com/oJEsMlEN9n

— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) September 28, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/JonLemire/status/1575119990436626435″,”id”:”1575119990436626435″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”195e49ef-e55f-4398-9e45-0b96d9c981b3″}}”/>

In 2016, New Jersey’s Republican former governor Chris Christie asked Donald Trump to more forcefully condemn white supremacists. The then-presidential candidate took his time in doing so, saying, “A lot of these people vote.”

That’s one of the many anecdotes about Trump revealed in “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” a new book about his presidency from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, which The Washington Post obtained.

The review also finds Trump openly pondering when liberal supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might pass away from her cancer, and asking whether it would be possible to bomb drug labs in Mexico after a top health department official showed up in uniform to advise him of the approach.

There’s a lot more to the book, which comes out next Tuesday. Here’s more of what the Post found:

Throughout the book, Trump is portrayed as transactional and narcissistic — at times charming, at other times cruel — but always attuned to his own political fortunes, no matter the issue. During his meeting in the Oval Office with Barack Obama in 2016, he eschewed policy and asked Obama how he kept his approval ratings high, according to the book. He told advisers that he needs people such as Pennsylvania Senate nominee Mehmet Oz (R) in office in case the election is challenged in 2024 or they try to impeach him again.

When Trump first met British Prime Minister Theresa May, he soon turned the conversation to abortion. “Some people are pro-life, some people are pro-choice. Imagine if some animals with tattoos raped your daughter and she got pregnant?” he said, according to the book. Pointing to then-Vice President Mike Pence, he described him as the “tough one” on abortion. He soon moved the topic away from Northern Ireland to an offshore wind project he wanted to block near his property, the book says.

Trump was often crass and profane about world leaders and others in his orbit. He referred to German Prime Minister Angela Merkel as “that b—-,” according to the book. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg was dying in 2020, the book says, Trump would sarcastically raise his hands to the sky in prayer and say: “Please God. Please watch over her. Every life is precious,” before asking an aide: “How much longer do you think she has?”

Months after the end of a term in which the rightwing majority made history by overturning abortion rights, expanding the ability to carry a concealed weapon and limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate power plant emissions, the supreme court’s justice’s are gathering again today, SCOTUSblog reports.

While the private meeting is a normal part of preparing for the upcoming term, justices are expected to get an update on the investigation into the unusual May leak of the draft decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that reversed Roe v Wade and ended nearly a half-century of nationwide abortion access:

Today at SCOTUS: The justices meet privately for their annual "long conference" to review cert petitions that have rolled in over the summer. They'll also likely discuss the status of the Dobbs leak investigation and whether to continue live audio of oral arguments this term.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) September 28, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/SCOTUSblog/status/1575106527559843840″,”id”:”1575106527559843840″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”3d566117-7ad9-46c0-b8cd-3858db467c6b”}}”>

Today at SCOTUS: The justices meet privately for their annual “long conference” to review cert petitions that have rolled in over the summer. They’ll also likely discuss the status of the Dobbs leak investigation and whether to continue live audio of oral arguments this term.

— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) September 28, 2022

Why is the White House convening a summit on food insecurity for the first time in half a century? As The Guardian’s Nina Lakhani reports, a combination of high inflation and the end of pandemic support programs has squeezed vulnerable households, prompting the Biden administration to step in with a pledge to end hunger by 2030. Here’s more from her report:

When was the last food conference?

The last food conference, hosted by Richard Nixon in 1969, was a pivotal moment in American food policy that led to the expansion of food stamps and gave rise to the Women, Infants and Children program that today provides parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance to the mothers of half the babies born each year.

How bad is hunger in the US now?

One in 10 households struggled to feed their families in 2021 due to poverty – an extraordinary level of food insecurity in the richest country in the world. The rate has barely budged in the past two decades amid deepening economic inequalities and welfare cuts.

Food insecurity remains stubbornly high in the US, with only a slight downward trend from 2021 – but significantly lower than 2020 when the Covid shutdown and widespread layoffs led to record numbers of Americans relying on food banks and food stamps to get by.

The conference comes as the cost of food is soaring due to double-digit inflation, and amid fears of recession. The cost of groceries in July was up 13.1% compared with last year, with the price of cereal, bread and dairy products rising even higher, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Households are under more pressure as states roll back pandemic-linked financial support such as free school meals for every child and child tax credits. Many states are stopping expanded food stamp benefits.

Real-time data from the US Census survey “suggest that food hardship has been steadily rising in families with children this year”, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, recently told the Guardian.

Biden takes aim at food insecurity in the wealthy but hungry United States

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The United States may be the world’s biggest economy and one of the wealthiest nations on the planet but everyday, many Americans struggle to provide enough food for their family. The Biden administration will today convene the first summit in 50 years aimed at turning around this trend, with the goal of ending hunger by 2030 and reducing diseases related to nutrition. Joe Biden will speak at the event at 10am ET.

Here’s what else is happening today:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *