Rep. Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Photo: Gage Skidmore)​

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said this week babies born into low-income families should not have the same access to food as those born into wealth – or even moderate means – and voted against a bill because, he suggested, it would help them take food away from their more affluent peers.

The Republican Party for weeks has been falsely hammering the Biden administration and Democrats in general about the very real baby formula shortage, baselessly trying to pin the blame on the President and his officials. But when the Democrats put two bills on the House to help ease the crisis, many Republicans refused to vote to help families.

More than half the baby formula sold in the U.S. is purchased through government assistance programs like WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

Congressman Gaetz says those families accessing government assistance should take a back seat to "hard-working" Americans when it comes to buying baby formula. Equating wealth with being hard-working is a fallacy, as is saying those who are low-income do not work hard.

WIC narrows and controls the amount of baby formula that families using it can buy, but it also specifies the brands and even stores they can use.

H.R.7791, the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022, would temporarily reduce those constraints.

Gaetz opposes making baby formula more accessible to people because they are poor, or, as he suggests, not "hard-working."

"H.R. 7791 would make baby formula shortages worse for most Americans," the Florida Republican Congressman tweeted. "It will allow WIC to utilize a far greater portion of the baby formula market, crowding out many hard-working American families."

Gaetz was one of nine Republicans to vote against the bill. It passed the House, and even Republicans in the Senate saw it as so non-controversial that they allowed it to pass by unanimous consent, meaning they didn't require a vote on the bill. It will now head to President Biden to become law.

Gaetz was blasted on social media. A few responses:


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