Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) — who took over the party leadership position formerly held by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — isn’t turning Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) into a fan. Amid widespread difficulties to obtain baby formula in the U.S., Stefanik complained on Twitter about so-called “usual pedo grifters” — an obviously baseless accusation she slung at top Democrats. Kinzinger tore into Stefanik’s rhetoric.
“Ok. What? You used to be the bridge builder in politics, now you are calling people PEDOPHILES,” Kinzinger remarked. “America, you deserve better than this. We deserve leaders that inspire. Politics is failing.” Stefanik drew widespread condemnation for her remarks, although they seemed set to only increase her stature among conspiratorially-minded, far-right individuals who see conspiracies targeting children basically all over the place — while ignoring actual threats children face. “The White House, House Dems, & usual pedo grifters are so out of touch with the American people that rather than present ANY PLAN or urgency to address the nationwide baby formula crisis, they double down on sending pallets of formula to the southern border. Joe Biden has NO PLAN,” Stefanik originally claimed. Her notion there’s no Democratic plan in response to the shortage is flat-out false.
In fact, following the emergence of the shortage driven by a voluntary recall by a large manufacturer, the Biden administration has been “working with other infant formula manufacturers to increase production, expediting the import of infant formula from abroad, and calling on both online and in store retailers to establish purchasing limits to prevent the possibility of hoarding,” officials said. And on Thursday, the administration said more formula had been produced in the preceding four weeks than in the four weeks prior to the recall. Stefanik posted her controversial tweet falsely claiming there was Democratic inaction on Friday, after the White House made these revelations.
Families across the country — especially those who need specialty formulas — depend on the availability of infant formula.
I'm announcing new actions and working with the private sector to get infant formula into stores as quickly as possible without compromising safety.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 12, 2022
And as for the claim about sending items to the southern border, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) noted that the agency “takes seriously its legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of individuals in our custody. Ensuring migrants, including children and infants, in our custody have their basic needs met is in line with this Administration’s commitment to ensuring safe, orderly, and humane processes at our border.” And again, it’s also in line with the law. But evidently, individuals like Stefanik would rather see babies from other countries — whose mothers are detained — go hungry, which could obviously have potentially serious ramifications for their health. Instead of looking for other solutions, the push from these people is to starve immigrants. In other words, Republicans (some of them, at least) have found another way to be despicable. Efforts by U.S. authorities to reasonably provide for babies in their custody are in no way responsible for the shortage.
Instead of working to address the root issues and fixing the problems of all families, Congresswoman Stefanik is advocating that babies who are in US custody be starved — in violation of basic morality and US law.https://t.co/9TZElB300A
— Matt Putorti (@MattPutorti) May 14, 2022