It "makes a lot of sense" for President Joe Biden to have invoked the Defense Production Act to help alleviate the nationwide baby formula shortage, but that should have been done weeks ago, Rep. Dan Crenshaw said on Newsmax Saturday.
"That's just what you see with this administration, problem-solving after the fact," the Texas Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "This is a major shortage, but there have been smaller shortages that have popped up throughout the last few months."
But invoking the Defense Production Act and moving to send military planes abroad to bring formula back to the United States was an "easy button to press," said Crenshaw. "That could have been done weeks and weeks ago."
The Food and Drug Administration this week approved the reopening of the Abbott Laboratories baby formula factory in Sturgis, Michigan, which has been closed for some months after a recall took place.
"Now, luckily, that has since been rectified to the point where they'll start producing in two weeks. But that doesn't mean their baby formula will hit the shelves for another six to eight weeks, so that's the bad news," said Crenshaw.
The other bad news, he added, is that there are only a few companies that make the baby formula in the United States, and the FDA has strict standards on what can be imported.
"So there's a lot of pretty good baby formula, say in Europe, that we just can't import," he said. "Also, also, a lot of the baby formula goes to the WIC program, the Women Infants and Children program, so it's getting the baby formula to poor families, and they only contract from a few select brands, almost all of which are with Abbott labs as well. So this creates a market without a lot of competition."
Meanwhile, Crenshaw said he's introducing a bill that would demand the Department of Homeland Security discloses how much baby formula has been sent to the border for immigrant babies, after revelations that there is formula stockpiled there.
"Everyone would love baby formula that would be there for everyone, but if we have to choose, it should be on American shelves," said Crenshaw.
But the lawmaker said he thinks the shortages will be eased.
"The one good thing the administration is doing is these flights full of baby formula from abroad, getting them to our shelves," said Crenshaw. "It does depend on what part of the country you live in on whether you're seeing big shortages or not. Again the main facility that went down should be up and running within less than two weeks at this point, and the formula should be back on the shelves within six weeks. I'm not sure if that's much consolation because people need it now."
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