In The News: As Republicans Continue Partisan Bickering, Biden Signs Bill To Expand Access To Infant Formula

During his four day trip to Asia to strengthen ties with allies, president Biden signed into law the Access To Baby Formula Act of 2022. The bill was signed Saturday while in Seoul, South Korea, with president Yoon Seok-Youl.

The bill passed the House last Wednesday, and the Senate on Thursday. Wednesday, before leaving for the trip to Asia, Biden made a statement to the press concerning actions to increase infant formula access.

“I know parents all across the country are worried about finding enough infant formula to feed their babies. As parents, and as a grandparent, I know just how stressful that is. I want to provide a few updates on our work to get more formula into the United States and on the store shelves.

“Today, I’m invoking the Defense Production Act to ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home. The Defense Production Act gives the government the ability to require suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good.

“I’m also announcing Operation Fly Formula. That’s to be able to speed up the import of infant formula and start getting more formula in stores as soon as possible. I’ve directed the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to send aircraft, planes overseas to pick up infant formula that meets US health and safety standards so we can get it on our store shelves faster.

“I’ve directed my team to do everything possible to ensure there’s enough safe baby formula and that it’s quickly reaching families that need it the most. This is one of my top priorities, and I’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress.”

Some Democrats have addressed issues concerning antitrust laws, and corporate consolidation that would allow a few companies to hold a monopoly on the production of infant formula. One of those companies, an Abbott infant formula production plant in Sturgis, Michigan, was recently shut down due to alleged contamination of Cronobacter sakazakii. Partisan  Republicans who are more interested in scoring political points rather than in favor of actually doing something to solve the crisis, have instead attempted to cover their own ineptitude and uselessness by attacking the Biden administration as inept, while accusing it of prioritizing the welfare of illegal infants over American infants.

“While mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery shelves in a panic, the Biden administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “This is yet another one in a long line of reckless, out of touch priorities from the Biden administration when it comes to securing our border and protecting Americans.”

It should be noted here that the government is required to make sure that any infants in border facilities are provided with available infant formula. It wasn’t suddenly prioritized over American infants.

“The images are emerging today from the border, where the Biden administration has been sending pallets of baby formula to illegal mothers and their babies, while American mothers and babies cannot find baby formula,” Q representative Marjory Taylor Greene said at a conference outside the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. “Food security is national security. The Biden administration is sending pallets of baby formula to the border for illegal aliens, while American Mothers are crying in the grocery store searching for it.”

It should also be noted here that the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act passed passed the House on May 18, with no thanks to Republicans. The vote was 231 to 192. It next goes to the Senate, where it’s fate is unknown.

House Whip Steve Scalise had this to say about the bill: “Instead of working with Republicans to find bipartisan solutions to address the issue, Speaker Pelosi dropped this legislation yesterday in hopes of covering up the administration’s ineptitude by throwing additional money at the FDA with no plan to actually fix the problem, all while failing to hold the FDA accountable.”

Scalise was among the 192 Republicans who voted against the bill, as were Marjory Taylor Greene and a host of notable so called “pro life” representatives.

As I’ve said previously, Republicans have no actual plan themselves to solve the issue. All they’re really interested in is criticizing the current administration to cover for their own failure by attacking innocent mothers and children at the border, while voting no on doing something now. It raises the question whether children are their priority after all.

Sources: Yahoo News, The Hill, Washington Post, Esquire, The rev.com

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