Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
May 17, 2022
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Committee on Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05), and Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for a press conference on Democrats’ work to address the infant formula shortage. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
 

“I am pleased to be here with the Speaker, Madam Speaker, thank you very much for grabbing this [priority], going with it. I had a meeting with Chairs a week ago, and [Rep.] Rosa DeLauro who is the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, of course, meets with us, and she had done a lot of work on this and brought the facts our attention and the problems to our attention. So I asked all accounts of jurisdiction to look at this, obviously, the Appropriations Committee has a special role in making sure there are resources to address this problem but also Chairwoman Maloney who is the Oversight Committee [Chair], Bobby Scott, [Chairman of] the Education and Labor Committee, and a number of other committees as the Speaker has pointed out have jurisdiction to deal with these questions.

“There is nothing more critical to families than being able to feed their children.
Throughout history, we have heard stories of parents living in poverty who will forgo every need of their own just to get a little food or milk for their young children to survive and thrive. The circumstances that led to the current infant formula shortage will surely need to be investigated. Right now, however, Congress’ focus ought to be on how to address this challenge and make sure that all babies in America can get the nutrition they need in the first vulnerable months of life.

“I go to a grocery store called McKay’s in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, a little community in Southern Maryland, [in] St. Mary’s County and I am amazed at the bareness of the shelves. I don’t have any young children with which I live, but my granddaughter has not infant children – she’s two now, my youngest grandchild. But I think to myself, a young mom with infant children looking at their shelves and then having to go online and find some place where she can be confident that she has healthy food for her baby?

“That’s why the House is moving forward to craft legislation, led by Chairwoman DeLauro, Rep. Hayes, [Rep.] Bobby Scott, [Rep.] Frank Pallone will be doing that, he has a hearing next week when we have a committee week. Mothers across the country are looking to us for help, and we will not force them to face this crisis on their own. We’re on their side. We’ll see who’s on their side when we vote on this legislation.

“I hope my Republican colleagues will be filled with what Shakespeare called ‘the milk of human kindness’. Today he may say, ‘the milk of human health or the milk of human survival.’ So I hope my colleagues join with us to move swiftly in addressing this pressing challenge. Let’s get this done together and let’s get it done fast. So I want to thank all my colleagues and I want to thank Senator Stabenow, who is the chair of the Agriculture Committee in the United States Senate for the work she is doing. I know that she is going to be speaking herself but we’re glad that she’s here as a partner in making sure that moms will be able to feed their infants.”