House Republicans criticized President Joe Biden on Thursday for the shortages of infant formula plaguing the country and rallied behind a bill that would initiate the importation of formula from overseas.
The bill, introduced Wednesday, directs the Food and Drug Administration to review the internationally adopted food standards known as the Codex Alimentarius specifically for baby formula. The objective is to ensure that international standards match up with the standards that the United States has for importing formula, a first step toward bringing in reinforcements and alleviating the dire shortage.
“We put together a solution, a solution that we can bring in formula from other areas, to make sure that these mothers have formula for their infants,” said Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), who introduced the bill. “This is so important. I wish the administration would finally understand the serious seriousness of what’s going on.”
GOP lawmakers criticized the Biden administration and the Food and Drug Administration, saying they have ignored the problem and failed to put forward solutions. Biden, they noted in a briefing, has not addressed the crisis himself despite it being what they argue is a result of critical supply chain problems that were made worse under his watch.
“President Biden and the FDA must do more,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). “This is a matter of life or death. What will it take for the Biden administration to reverse its inflation, supply chain, and energy prices that are making the shortage worse?”
The FDA said earlier this week that it was meeting with manufacturers regularly to discuss ways to boost production, expediting the foreign entry review process for certain products, and tracking trends for in-stock rates across the U.S. in order to determine what parts of the country are in the most need.
The Democratic-led House Energy and Commerce scheduled a hearing at the end of the month about abating the crisis, but Republicans said Thursday that Democrats were dragging their feet on the problem.
“I can tell you as a new mom, families and moms and dads and babies can’t wait two weeks,” said Elise Stefanik (R-NY). “It needs to be happening now. Why aren’t any of the Democrats talking about this issue? They’re not, because they don’t care, obviously.”