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Families across America are still looking for baby formulaand finding bare shelves — at the end of May, the out-of-stock rate was 73%. As any parent will tell you, the fear of not being able to feed your baby is pure panic.
Instead of addressing this crisis months ago, President Joe Biden and his team ignored the warnings and my calls for action. Now America’s shortages resemble those of a Third World nation, with the administration desperately releasing a photo op of the military airlifting formula into the country. Yet supply remains dangerously limited.
The truth is, the crisis should never have reached this point. We just learned a whistleblower warned the Biden team about an impending disaster in February 2021 — and the administration did nothing. After the Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Mich., facility shut down in February 2022, I wrote the Biden administration demanding action — and again it did nothing. When a reporter asked the White House press secretary last month who’s overseeing the crisis, she laughed.
It took House Republicans standing on the steps of the Capitol demanding action for Biden to act, and by that time, it was too little too late.
Lame-duck Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have also passed the buck. Pelosi’s “solution” was to throw more money at the problem by giving the FDA $28 million in additional funding. But the FDA just two months ago received a $102 million budget hike, including an $11 million increase specifically for maternal and infant health and nutrition. More money did nothing to solve the crisis and will only worsen skyrocketing inflation.
As a mother in Congress, I know firsthand the importance of providing our children essential nutrition. After my calls to action fell on the deaf ears of Biden’s Food and Drug Administration, my greatest fears were realized as I heard heartbreaking stories from parents and grandparents in my district unable to find what they needed to feed their babies. In response, House Republicans have come up with a legislative solution that will restore supply-chain operations, restock shelves and provide the necessary oversight and accountability to ensure this never happens again.
Families deserve certainty, and no family in the greatest country in the world should have to scrounge for essential products for their babies.
Read the full op-ed over at The New York Post:
Joe Biden continues to pass the buck on the baby formula crisis.
For months, @US_FDA IGNORED my warnings.
My legislation – the Babies Need Formula Now Act – will put formula back on shelves and provide oversight so this crisis NEVER happens again.https://t.co/QSXLhozI30
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) June 15, 2022