WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD)- Rep. Nancy Mace sided with House GOP leadership on Wednesday, voting against a bill that aimed to address the nationwide baby formula shortage.
The Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act provides $28 million in emergency funding to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for resources to increase the number of FDA inspection staff, prevent fraudulent formulas from being sold, and protect against future shortages. The bill passed mostly along party lines in a 231 to 192 vote.
Mace was one of the 192 Republicans to cast a “nay” vote saying the bill was “throwing money at a problem.”
“The FDA already received over 100 million two weeks ago for supply chain issues and they have not spent a single dime, even though they knew about the baby formula shortages when that plant shut down,” Mace said. “Knowing that, they didn’t spend a single dime of the 100 million they were given to address supply chain issues to address this very important supply chain issue.”
According to the Hill, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) sent a memo to colleagues earlier Wednesday urging them to vote “no” saying that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) proposed the bill “in hopes of covering up the administration’s ineptitude by throwing additional money at the FDA with no plan to actually fix the problem, all while failing to hold the FDA accountable.”
Mace did vote in favor of another baby formula bill on the table which loosens restrictions on the types of formula that WIC recipients can purchase. That bill passed on a 414-9 vote with all “no” votes being Republicans.
In recent days, Mace has been vocal about the shortage and its impact on families across the country, urging Congressional leadership to take action to end the shortage.
This week, she introduced a bill of her own that would waive import tariffs on foreign baby formula for 90 days. The United States currently imposes up to 17.5 percent tariff and tariff-rate quotas on infant formula.
“We really have to focus on things like lifting the tariffs on imports of baby formula [so] when a parent cant find it in a store and wants to order it from overseas, let’s not make it more expensive by adding additional taxes to it,” Mace said. “We’ve got to ensure that we lift regulations or waive regulations that are getting in the way and impeding food getting on our shelves.”
Facing mounting pressure over the shortage, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday to speed infant formula production and authorize commercial flights to import formula from overseas.
There has been no vote on Mace’s proposed legislation.