The smiles and hugs that President Joe Biden received from kids during his visit to a Connecticut childcare center could soon turn to disappointment as the continued supply chain crisis could ruin their Christmas cheer.
Biden, who was in Connecticut on Friday to discuss his Build Back Better agenda, greeted children from the Capitol Child Development Center in Hartford and posed with a banner they made for him that said Welcome Joe Biden.
It was a moment of sweet relief for Biden after former Walmart President and CEO Bill Simon became the latest person to criticize the president’s plan to tackle the imminent threat to the holiday season, calling it ‘a mess from start to finish.’
President Joe Biden stopped by the Capitol Child Development Center to greet children in Hartford, Connecticut
The president gave out hugs, conversed and played with the kids on the playground on Friday
Biden allowed the children and center staff to show him a tour of the playground
The president was at the scene to tout his Build Back Better program, which included provision for universal pre-K, childcare assistance, the extension of the child tax credit and tuition-free community college
Biden also posed for photos with the children and held a banner they made, welcoming him to the center
On Wednesday, Biden announced that West Coast shipping ports will be open around the clock to alleviate a near-record backlog of more than 60 cargo ships currently waiting near the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.
The administration also said that companies like Walmart, UPS and FedEx have committed to extending their hours for the next 90 days to ensure deliveries for the holidays.
But Simon and supply chain analysts say that the tactic is flawed and will not do enough to tackle the problem.
‘There’s a shortage of labor in our distribution system and there’s a shortage of people to put [items] on the shelf,’ Simon told Fox Business.
He urged the president to tackle the labor shortage at the ports and delivery systems in order to clear the cargo ships and restock bare shelfs in stores nationwide that sparked the hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe.
‘I’ve never seen it like this, and I don’t really think anybody living in this country has. I mean, this is really unprecedented.’
Brian Whitlock, a supply chain analyst, told Business Insider that Biden’s plan would barely help.
‘It’s great that they’ve chosen to do something, but we’re talking about a less than 1% to 2% change here,’ Whitlock said. ‘The work that they’re talking about here is going to be immaterial. It probably won’t even be visible.’
Bill Simon, the former president and CEO of Walmart, said Biden’s plan to tackle the supply crunch was inadequate
More than 60 cargo ships hover around the Los Angeles port as they wait for their turn to dock
The cargo ships are at a near-record backlog as they wait by the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports
The ships are filled with thousands of containers of goods and products that are set to impact the holiday season
There are an estimated 500,000 containers that need to be processed in the West Coast
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has also drawn criticism over the supply crunch, defended the president’s plan during an interview with Fox New’s Bret Baier on Friday.
Baier noted that Biden’s plan has been described ‘too little, too late,’ but Buttigieg disagreed.
‘The president said this has the potential to be a game-changer. It’s going to have to be part of a number of steps,’ Buttigieg said, noting that the administration needed to look at a shortage of truck drivers in the US.
Buttigieg, who has been criticized by Republicans for taking parental leave during the crisis, did not offer additional details as to how the labor shortage would be handled, but added that he and his team had been studying the US supply chain back in July.
‘These issues didn’t emerge overnight, which is why not only do we have these near-term steps we’ve been taking and coordinating with the private sector on, but also the need for a comprehensive infrastructure bill,’ Buttigieg said.
The transportation secretary is not the only member of Biden’s team who received backlash for his response to the supply crisis.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended President Joe Biden’s plan to keep West Coast ports open 24/7
Buttigieg and his husband Chasten (left) announced on September 4 that they adopted twins, Penelope and Joseph
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain agreed Wednesday that the U.S. economic problems are ‘high class problems’
White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain sparked fury after retweeting a former Obama aide’s comment that the current US economic issues, including inflation and supply chain delays, are just ‘high class problems’.
Jason Furman, a Harvard Economics professor and former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, had tweeted: ‘Most of the economic problems we’re facing (inflation, supply chains, etc.) are high class problems.’
‘We wouldn’t have had them if the unemployment rate was still 10 percent,’ he added of earlier rates. ‘We would instead have had a much worse problem.’
Klain retweeted the post along with, ‘This’ and two emoji fingers pointing down to the tweet – indicating his agreement.
Rep. Byron Donalds, a Florida Republican, told DailyMail.com that the comments from Klain are indicative of the ‘tone-deafness’ of the Biden administration.
‘The cluelessness embroiling the White House stems from the top down, and that is evident with the tone-deaf statements coming from the Press Secretary and Chief of Staff,’ he said.
‘While they ignore the reality of Biden’s failed economic agenda, everyday Americans feel the pain of Bidenomics at the pump, grocery store, and just about every aspect of daily life,’ the congressman continued. ‘The American people are not better off today than before Biden got into office, and skyrocketing inflation is one of the many reasons this is the case.’
He was responding to a tweet from Obama’s former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers who said problems would be ‘much worse’ if the unemployment rate was still 10 per cent
Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner tweeted.’Since when did paying more for gas, electricity, eggs, and meat only affect the ‘high class’? The Biden Administration is completely out of touch with the American people’
Social media erupted in criticism over Klain’s tweet Wednesday, claiming Biden’s top aide was downplaying hardships Americans are experiencing as inflation rises and unemployment remains high – at 4.8 per cent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed in its job report on Friday.
The BLS also released in the report that the U.S. added only 194,000 jobs in September.
‘Struggling to pay for food, fuel, and housing because of rising prices is not a ‘high class problem,’ tweeted Tommy Pigott, the rapid response director for the Republican National Committee. ‘Biden is making everyone worse off, but instead of stopping the damage, their strategy is to try to gaslight Americans.’
Republican lawmakers also weren’t happy.
‘Inflation hurts every family in America,’ Republican Representative Lisa McClain of Michigan told DailyMail.com.
‘Ron Klain’s comments show how truly out of touch he and the Biden administration are with the American people,’ she added.