Ken Russell slams María Elvira Salazar on formula milk vote
representing Maria Elvira Salazar and other Republicans in Congress who last month voted against an emergency spending bill to deal with a national formula shortage have a lot to answer for, Miami Democratic Commissioner Ken Russell said.
Russell, who is run to knock down Salazar in Florida’s 27th congressional district, called out the freshman congresswoman and her GOP peers on Thursday for “playing the partisan game” with the well-being of the most vulnerable members of our society.
“We need solutions right now, to get babies fed,” he said during a Zoom press conference. “Now is not the time to play board games.”
Salazar joined 191 other House Republicans — including 14 others who represent Florida — by voting against Infant Formula Supplementary Appropriations Act on May 19, which would allocate $28 million in emergency funds to the Food and Drug Administration.
The money approved by the bill, which is still awaiting a vote in the Senate, is intended to pay for an enhanced inspection of formula supplies and improve data collection on the formula market.
Representatives. Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donald, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Greg Steube, Michael Waltz and Daniel Webster were also among those who voted “no”.
They and Salazar “miscalculate what their constituents are looking for,” Russell said.
“They’re looking for solutions, and infant formula is a key issue right now,” he said. “Much like in times of war or natural disaster, it’s when we put aside party lines and solve our problems for the American people.”
Another bill called the Infant Formula Access Actwhich makes it possible to buy more formulas using the advantages of a federal program for low-income women, infants and childrencleared the House with Salazar’s support on May 18. He received nine “no” votes, all from Republicans, including Gaetz, who disputed on Twitter that the bill would allow the program “to utilize a far greater portion of the infant formula market, squeezing out many hard-working American families.”
The next day, the Senate approved the bill and the President Joe Biden signed it into law.
But two weeks later, the formula shortage got worse. Biden met with executives from five baby food companies on Wednesday and announced that the United States will airlift shipments of infant formula from Europe.
The shortage was blamed on supply chain issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and February closure of an Abbott Laboratories formula manufacturing plant in Michigan due to contamination concerns.
“It’s really hard when there’s no guaranteed access to formula and…a consistent type of formula that’s best for your baby’s digestive system,” said Jamara Amani, a community midwife raising four children in North Miami. “It really shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It should be about families and communities, centering access to optimal health and putting people before profit.
Biden last month invoked the Defense Production Act to boost manufacturing and said it would use military resources to expedite imports of infant formula from overseas.
The president said he only learned of the shortage in April. Executives from the five companies he spoke to – ByHearts, Bubs Australia, Reckitt, Perrigo Company and Gerber – said they knew a crisis was looming when Abbott closed its factory.
Regardless of who dropped the proverbial ball and when, Salazar had the opportunity to help correct the problem and chose not to do so in order to make Biden and the Democrats look bad, Party spokesperson florida democrat Travis Reuther said.
“This vote follows a pattern of Republicans nationally, where they would rather vote along party lines than act or do anything to get results for Florida families at a time like this.” , did he declare.
“We’ve seen it, whether it’s reproductive freedom, gun safety, the right to vote, or even a bill to cap the cost of insulin payments each month. “The results are the same. Republicans are more interested in using the struggles of working families for their own political game. They don’t have a plan. Democrats do, and they act.”