Upper Peninsula Congressman Jack Bergman said House Resolution 7790 designed to alleviate the formula shortage will do nothing to solve the problem.
The Watersmeet Republican says there’s nothing in the resolution that specifies how the $28 million will be spent, and there’s nothing in it to actually address the issue. Bergman says it just gives the FDA an extra $28 million, which he says will actually go to FDA salaries and expense accounts.
Bergman noted that the FDA just got a $102 million budget increase two months ago, and he suggests the current shortage is due to mismanagement and inaction by the Biden administration.
The resolution passed, 231-192, without Bergman’s support. Bergman voted for House Resolution 7791, which allows women to purchase formula with their WIC benefits by waiving certain rules that were in place. It’s over, 414-9.
“Bureaucratic failures can only be solved through reform and oversight,” Bergman said, “and not by giving cash bonuses to the federal agency that helped cause the crisis in the first place. Congress can and must do better for American families.
Full statement from Congressman Bergman:
“The formula shortage crisis is a direct result of mismanagement and inaction by the current administration. Despite clear warning signs of upcoming infant formula shortages in recent months, the Biden administration was slow to respond and the FDA failed to take meaningful action until it was already too late. . That’s why I asked the FDA for answers about what it was doing to address the shortage earlier this month – asking the administration exactly what steps it was taking to ensure that the Abbott Nutrition factory, still closed, would be able to quickly and safely resume production. .
“Throwing money aimlessly at the problem – without putting safeguards in place to ensure the money is actually used effectively – will do nothing to solve the baby formula shortage. This is especially true given that the FDA already received a $102 million budget increase just two months ago.
“HR 7790 does not provide any specifics as to how the additional $28 million will be used to address the formula shortage and it does not take any concrete steps to address the issue; this three-page bill simply paid $28 million into the FDA’s salaries and expenses account. This money does not redeploy excess stocks of infant formula to federal agencies; it does not remove the regulatory barriers that hinder the production of infant formula; and it does not temporarily lift tariffs for preparations produced abroad.
“Instead of pushing a spending bill that feels good, more or less the same, Congress needs to focus on reforms that will actually solve the crisis — both in the short and long term.
“Also, last night I voted in favour the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022, which provides flexibility for low-income families, who account for about half of U.S. infant formula sales, to continue purchasing safe infant formula during the disruptions of the supply chain. Bureaucratic failures can only be solved through reform and oversight — not by giving cash bonuses to the federal agency that helped cause the crisis in the first place. Congress can and must do better for American families.