WATCH: Chairman Scott Leads House Passage of Legislation to Improve Families’ Access to Infant Formula
WASHINGTON – Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks during today’s floor debate on passing H.R. 7791, the Access to Baby Formula Act.
View Chairman Scott’s floor remarks on YouTube.
“Madam Speaker, across the country, the ongoing shortage of formula is disproportionately hurting women and children who rely on the benefits through the WIC program, leaving them with few options to purchase safe formula for their infants.
“That is because about half of the infants in America participate in the WIC program.
“In times of crisis, one of our core responsibilities as lawmakers is to ensure that families in need can continue to feed their children and keep them healthy.
“While I'm encouraged that the Biden administration and Abbott Nutrition have reached an agreement to restart formula production following the company's recall, the immediate consequences facing our children require additional action.
“That is why the gentlelady from Connecticut, Ms. Hayes, and the gentlelady from California, Ms. Steele, and I took action to help vulnerable Americans provide their babies with the nutrition they need.
“One of the flexibilities in the WIC program that the Access to Baby Formula Act provides will allow families in need to use WIC benefits to purchase other safe and available infant formula products. WIC vouchers can be limited to one brand product. And this makes sense because the WIC program can require companies to bid for the privilege of participating, and having the power to limit participation to just one brand encourages vendors to agree to huge discounts.
“Unfortunately, in a time of shortage, a voucher for a product not on the shelf is of no value. This bill allows flexibility in such a time so that parents will be able to purchase whatever brand is actually available. This legislation reflects our commitment to ensuring access to formula for those who need it most‚ both during the current crisis and into the future.
“I want to thank the gentlelady from Connecticut and the gentlelady from California for their urgent leadership on the Access to Baby Formula Act, and I urge my colleagues to join in taking a stand for our nation's children.”
Contact: Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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