A U.S. congressman from Tennessee explained Thursday why he voted against a bill that purports to help end the shortage of baby formula in the United States.
“I wanted to talk a little bit about a bill that came through yesterday dealing with the formula and the shortage,” Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) said in a video. “What it basically was, was $28 million in the bill, but like $23 million of it was for ‘administrative costs’ and ‘salaries.’ So basically, what the Democrat leadership did was use a bill, title it something that’s dealing with people who are genuinely hurting, and just use it as an instance to increase pay at the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] FDA.”
“That ought to disgust you,” Burchett said. “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican – using a real tragedy. It did nothing to put more formula on the shelves. It just did more to hire more bureaucrats and create more of a power structure here in Washington. They misname these bills on purpose, and honestly the Left just eats it up and they throw it back at us, but in reality it’s just not true.”
The bill, called the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed mostly along party lines, with a vote of 231-192.
“I’d vote for almost every bill if they actually did what their titles said they did,” the representative later said on Twitter.
I’d vote for almost every bill if they actually did what their titles said they did.
— Tim Burchett (@timburchett) May 19, 2022
A separate bill, which allows more baby formula to be purchased with money from a federal program that helps low-income Americans buy such formula, passed almost unanimously.
Wednesday, Burchett addressed the hospitalization of two Memphis infants whose parents and doctors could not secure a specific type of baby formula needed by the infants, both of whom had health issues.
“Absolutely tragic,” Burchett told The Tennessee Star. “This nationwide crisis is landing kids in the hospital, and it’s unacceptable this is happening here in the United States. All our economic might doesn’t mean a thing if we still can’t protect our children.”
He said in a May 12 press conference that Tennessee has been the hardest-hit in regards to the shortage.
“I come from the great state of Tennessee, and it’s been hit the hardest,” he said. “My state’s formula sold-out rate is about 50 percent right now. That’s why I’m calling on the Tennessee attorney general and the U.S. attorney general to vigorously investigate any potential instances for price-gouging and stockpiling.”
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