President Biden addresses baby formula shortage

President Joe Biden took off for Asia on Thursday amid a baby formula shortage in the states, but before he left, he took new executive action to help.

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden took off for Asia on Thursday amid a baby formula shortage in the states, but before he left, he took new executive action to help.

“I’ve directed my team to do everything possible to make sure there is enough safe baby formula and that it’s quickly reaching families that need it the most,” Biden said.

This includes using the Defense Production Act, which lets the government direct private companies to ramp up supply.

There are several reasons behind the baby formula supply problems, including the closure of the largest U.S. baby formula plant in February.

The commander-in-chief also launched Operation Fly Formula, which allows overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards to be picked up by commercial planes and brought back to the U.S.

“Opening up the ability to get more foreign sources, getting that one plant open back up again using the production act,” Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith said.

This comes as the House of Representatives passed two bills to help low-income families by using money from a federal program to buy more formula and spending $28 million to help the Food and Drug Administration increase formula supply.

“We want to be as quick as possible, but we must be safe and we must be cautious,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

However, Republicans are pushing back.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted, “The democrat $28 million ‘baby formula bill’ is a joke, we don’t have a baby formula demand crisis, we have a baby formula supply crisis.”

Rep. Mario Diaz Balart added, “House democratic leadership’s legislation does absolutely nothing to put more baby formula on the shelves.”

The two bills might not get GOP support and could fall short of the 60 votes needed in the Senate to pass.


About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.