House passes bills to fight baby formula shortage

May 19 (UPI) -- Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have passed a pair of legislation to address the ongoing nationwide baby formula shortage.

Both bills passed Wednesday with the main legislation, H.R. 7790, better know as the Infant Supplemental Appropriations Act, securing 12 Republicans to jump aisle for a 231-192 vote.


The bill provides $28 million in emergency supplemental funding to address the shortage and to prevent future ones.

The second bill, called the Access to Baby Formula Act, passed 414-9 to waive certain requirements to allow low-income families to purchase infant formula with benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, often referred to as WIC.

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Those with infants nationwide have been struggling to acquire formula after Abbott Nutrition, the nation's largest infant formula maker, recalled several lines of its products mid-February that've been linked to infections in infants.

"Parents and caretakers across the country cannot wait -- they need our support now," Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who introduced the bill on Tuesday, said in a statement earlier this week. "This bill is the first step to help restock shelves and end this shortage."


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told lawmakers from the floor Wednesday that this shortage has taken a dangerous toll on women and children from underserve communities with about half of all infant formula in the nation purchased with WIC benefits.

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"This is as personal as it gets for a family," she said.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden also invoked the Defense Production Act, directing the federal government to prioritize and allocate key ingredients for production to increase supply of products.

After the bills pass, DeLauro announced she will be crafting further legislation to prevent similar crisis from happening again.

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