How U.S. Reps From Tennessee Voted On Baby Formula Shortage Bills In Congress

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Two Democrat-sponsored resolutions passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, each addressing the nationwide baby formula crisis with one receiving all negative votes from Tennessee Republicans and the other receiving all positive votes for passage.

House Resolution 7790 (HR7790) also known as the Infant Formula Supplement Appropriations Act of 2022, aimed to provide $28 million in emergency supplemental appropriations to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States.

Specifically, the bill provides appropriations for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to (1) address the current shortage of FDA-regulated infant formula and certain medical foods in the United States; and (2) prevent future shortages, including by taking the steps that are necessary to prevent fraudulent products from entering the U.S. market.  The bill was sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut.

While Tennessee Democrats Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper voted Yay on the Act, Tennessee Republicans Tim Burchett, Scott DeJarlais, Chuck Fleishmann, Mark Green, Diana Harshbarger, David Kustoff and John Rose all gave a Nay vote.

Regarding the bill, Representative Burchett tweeted a video on Thursday, May 19th, saying that “There’s 28 million dollars in the bill, but, I believe 23 million of it was for administrative costs and salaries.  So, basically, what the Democratic leadership did was use a bill, title it something that’s dealing with people that are genuinely hurting and just use it as an instance to increase pay at the FDA. That ought to disgust you, I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican – using a real tragedy. It did nothing to put more formula on the shelves, it just did more to hire bureaucrats and create more of a power structure here in Washington. They misname these bills on purpose and honestly, the Left just eats it up and they throw it back at us. But in reality, it’s just not true. We have truth in sentencing laws in Tennessee, and we ought to have truth in legislation.”

However, the resolution still passed the U.S. House in a 231 – 192 vote in favor, mostly along party lines.  HR7790 now heads to the U.S. Senate for their vote, before being sent to the President to be signed into law.

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In contrast, another Democrat-sponsored resolution, HR7791, also known as the “Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022” passed the U.S. House in an overwhelming 414 to 9 vote in favor with all Tennessee Republicans and Democrats voting in favor.

HR7791, sponsored by Representative Jahana Hayes, a Connecticut Democrat, authorizes the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take certain actions to address emergencies, disasters, and supply chain disruptions (particularly the shortage of infant formula in the United States) affecting participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

The bill directs USDA to require each infant formula cost containment contract to include remedies in the event of an infant formula recall, including how an infant formula manufacturer would protect against disruption to WIC participants in the state.

USDA must, within 30 days, ensure there is a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Health and Human Services that includes procedures for coordination and information sharing regarding any supply chain disruption, including a supplemental food recall.

The bill also authorizes USDA to waive or modify any WIC qualified administrative requirement during emergencies, disasters, and supply chain disruptions. Specifically, USDA may waive or modify such a requirement for one or more state agencies if (1) the requirement cannot be met by state agencies during the emergency, disaster, or disruption; and (2) the modification or waiver is necessary to provide assistance to WIC participants and does not substantially weaken the nutritional quality of supplemental foods. For example, USDA may waive the maximum monthly allowance for infant formula.

The bill establishes notification requirements for USDA and state agencies related to supply chain disruptions.

All Republican representatives from Tennessee voted in favor of this resolution, which was actually an amendment of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

The Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022 subsequently passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent and now heads to the President to be signed into law.


Several other pieces of legislation have been introduced in the U.S. Congress but are still at the introductory stage.

House Concurrent Resolution 90, sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) expresses the sense of Congress that the President should invoke the authorities provided under the Defense Production Act of 1950 to increase the production of baby formula and provide for the equitable distribution of baby formula through Federally qualified health centers.

House Resolution 7781, sponsored by Rep, Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Senate Bill 4226, sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), also known as the “Urgently Feeding America’s Babies Act of 2022,” seeks to designate baby formula as a scarce and critical material under the Defense Protection Act of 1950, and for other purposes.

Senate Bill 4212, sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), also known as the “Mother and Baby Formula Safety Act”  seeks to require the FDA to publish guidelines for parents to prepare baby formula at home. 

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at

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