WASHINGTON (KSNW) – On Wednesday, May 18, in a bipartisan vote of 231 to 192, the House passed H.R. 7790, a supplemental appropriations bill that will provide $28 million in emergency funding to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the resources it needs to address the baby formula shortage.

With this $28 million, the FDA would be able to strengthen and increase FDA inspection staff, provide resources for personnel working on formula issues, help stop fraudulent baby formula from entering the marketplace, and improve data collection.

Kansas Rep. Ron Estes decided to vote against the act. KSN reached out to Estes’ public relations team and received an email with the following statement:

Moms across Kansas are rightfully worried and outraged by the current formula crisis. While the private sector is thankfully working on importing more formula and safely reopening the voluntarily closed plant, the recent House vote only adds millions of dollars to expand a federal bureaucracy without addressing the current crisis at all.”

Representative Estes

Along with Estes’ statement included a list of “Additional bill information:”

  • H.R. 7790 is a supplemental appropriations bill that would provide $28 million in new emergency supplemental funding for the FDA
  • Bill language provides virtually no specificity as to how the $28 million would be used to counter the current shortage in baby formula or prevent future ones
  • Includes no provision to redeploy excess stocks of formula at federal agencies to families in need
  • Additional $28 million increase in FDA funding comes just two months after the FDA received a $102 million increase in the FY 2022 Consolidated Appropriations bill. This included an additional $11 million relating to infant health and nutrition
  • Also, FYI, HHS Secretary Becerra said in interview that he has been aware of problem since last year

Chair Rosa L. DeLauro and Subcommittee Chair Sanford D. Bishop Jr. also released the following statements:

The shortage we are seeing today is in large part caused by those who chose not to prioritize the health and safety of our children.

“Our babies are vulnerable, and parents are desperate. This critical funding will work in tandem with President Biden’s launch of Operation Fly Formula and invocation of the Defense Production Act to help quickly and safely address the infant formula shortage in this country and help prevent this from happening again. Now that we are ramping up production and preparing to purchase formula from abroad, we must ensure that it is safe. The FDA needs the resources to do that, and Congress has an obligation to meet those needs. This bill helps ensure that a lack of funding is not a barrier to getting safe formula to parents and babies.”

Chair DeLauro

Through this legislation, Congress is acting quickly to ensure that families have access to safe and affordable nutrition for their babies. It will also help prevent the sale of fake formula and provide Congress with more data to address the vulnerabilities in the infant formula market so we can avoid this happening again.

“This bill gives the FDA the resources it needs to respond to this crisis.”

Chair Bishop