WASHINGTON – GOP House members on Thursday criticized the Biden administration over the country's worsening shortage of baby formula.
Almost 40% of baby formula brands ran out at retail stores across the country last month. Republicans blame the White House for not moving fast enough to restock empty store shelves, part of a larger criticism of supply chain and inflation problems the GOP has leveled at the president.
"This is sadly Joe Biden's America," Rep. Amy Wagner, R-Mo., said during a Capitol Hill news conference. "Working families are already struggling to put food on the table due to the skyrocketing costs of everyday items."
GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers said she's heard from nurses in her home state of Washington calling the shortage a "crisis" that demands immediate action.
"This is a matter of life or death," she said.
The shortage that began late last year due to supply chain issues was exacerbated by a recall involving the nation's largest producer of infant formula.
The White House late Thursday moved to ease shortages of infant formula, such as increasing imports, even as the administration said it didn't know when consumers would see fully restocked shelves.
"Our message to parents is, we hear you, we want to do everything we can and we're going to cut every element of red tape to help address this and make it better for you to get formula on the shelves," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Psaki said hoarding is also leading to empty shelves of the supply.
Biden on Thursday spoke with retailers and manufacturers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Reckitt and Gerber, to discuss the shortage and how they can work to get families more access to infant formula.
At the news conference, North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry said congressional Democrats should be doing more to pressure the administration into action.
"This is not meant to be a partisan exercise," he said. "We've come together because we don't see Democrats raising the same issue and willing to work with us to get some answer from this administration."
Contributing: Rebecca Morin
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Infant formula shortage spurs Republican criticism of White House