House passes bills to address baby formula shortage  

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The Hill

The House on Wednesday passed two bills aimed at addressing a nationwide shortage of infant formula. The main piece of legislation, sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), would provide $28 million in emergency funding to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to beef up inspections of formula made at foreign plants and to guard against any future shortages by ensuring the agency is prepared for supply chain disruptions. The shortages have left many parents desperate and lawmakers scrambling to find a solution to put formula back on store shelves. DeLauro’s bill was passed 231-192 in a mainly party-line vote, with 12 Republicans going against the recommendation of party leadership and supporting the legislation. Another passed in a largely bipartisan vote. But even as Democrats praised the vote, it was unclear how quickly the bills would help families and increase the available supply. Senate Republicans also seemed wary of spending new money, so the ultimate fate of the Democrats’ biggest legislative effort to fix the formula shortage was uncertain. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) sent out a memo on Wednesday urging his members to vote “no” on the bill. He said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) proposed the legislation “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.”

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