- Representative Elise Stefanik called it “unacceptable” to give formula milk to migrants during the shortage.
- Stefanik, a top House Republican and Trump frontrunner, said, “Biden continues to put America LAST.”
- Democratic Representatives Eric Swalwell and Ruben Gallego have accused her of wanting to starve babies.
Democratic lawmakers have accused Rep. Elise Stefanik of wanting to withhold baby food in response to her comments about infant formula at immigration detention centers.
“Joe Biden continues to put America LAST by shipping pallets of baby formula across the southern border as American families face empty shelves. This is unacceptable. American mothers and their babies should not suffer at cause of the #BidenBorderCrisis,” Stefanik, the third top Republican in the House and favorite of former President Donald Trump, said in a Tweeter Friday.
The New York representative’s tweet came amid a wave of Republican outrage over claims that pallets of infant formula were being sent to storage facilities as the US faces a nationwide shortage due to supply chain issues and product recalls .
Some Democratic lawmakers jumped on Stefanik’s comments.
Rep. Arizona’s Ruben Gallego tweeted asking her what she was proposing instead: “Are these babies being starved? The parents are locked up, they can’t buy an alternative. So you’re asking the government to deliberately starve the children?”
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California also tweeted to Stefanik: “If you’re in Congress proposing starving baby deaths, you deserve to have your name trending. #EliseStarvefanik.”
A representative for Stefanik did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Infant formula shortages in the United States began months ago, but worsened in April. By the end of the month, 40% of infant formula nationally was out of stock, and in some states more than 50%.
The White House on Thursday announced its intention to address the shortage.
It’s unclear when or how much baby formula was sent to immigration centers, but Republicans grew concerned after Rep. Kat Cammack said “pallets of baby formula” were shipped to detention centers at the border.
In a statement provided to Insider on Thursday, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said, “CBP takes seriously its legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of those in our custody. migrants, including children and infants, in our care have their basic needs met is consistent with this administration’s commitment to ensuring safe, orderly, and humane processes at our border.”