FACT CHECK: Did Republicans Vote Against Baby Formula?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Republicans voted against baby formula.

Verdict: Misleading

While Republicans voted against a bill that would give the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) $28 million to address the shortage, they voted in favor of a separate bill that would make it easier for those in the federal food assistance program to access baby formula.

Fact Check: 

The U.S. is facing a widespread baby formula shortage, caused by the shutdown of an Abbott formula plant and a lack of imports, NPR reported. Two children have been hospitalized due to the lack of products from the closure of the plant, according to The New York Times.

A post shared on Facebook post claims that Republicans recently voted “against” baby formula. “Republicans love kids so much, they voted against baby formula!” reads the post. Similar claims went viral on Twitter, with at least two versions being retweeted thousands of times.

The claim is misleading. Last week, nearly all House Republicans voted in favor of a bill that would loosen regulations around what types and brands of formula can be purchased under the federal WIC food assistance program, according to The Detroit News. Only nine House Republicans voted against the measure. Those nine included Georgia Rep. Marjorie Greene and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, according to Newsweek. Greene remarked on her podcast “Real America’s Voice” that the WIC was actually a “key problem” in the shortage.

A fact-sheet from the House Education and Labor Committee states the bill grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture the ability to waive requirements so “vulnerable families can continue purchasing safe infant formula” with their benefits. (RELATED: Will Enfamil And Similac Have The State Send Free baby Formula To Those Who Need It?)

Most House Republicans did oppose a bill that passed in the House May 18 that would give $28 million to the FDA to address the shortage, according to Axios. Republicans claimed it would not help address the shortage, according to The Washington Post. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise told the outlet the bill was written with the intent of “covering up the administration’s ineptitude by throwing additional money at the FDA with no plan to actually fix the problem.”

Politico reported the bill did not clarify how the funds would be used to stop the immediate shortage. The House Appropriations Committee stated in a May 18 press release the bill’s funds would “strengthen and increase the number of FDA inspection staff” as well as provide “resources for personnel working on formula issues” among other goals.

A group of House Republicans also recently introduced the “Babies Need More Formula Now Act,” which seeks to reduce the restrictions on importing baby formula from other countries, according to Fox News.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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