From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
If I may be so bold as to speak for all of them, the infants of America would like to express how grateful they are to have been an important part of the Republican Party’s strategy for the 2022 midterm elections over the past several weeks. It was an honor that thrilled them right down to the booties Meemaw knitted for them. Now, if it’s alright with Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, they’d all like to get back to, you know, eating now. From the Washington Post:
House GOP leaders were among the 192 Republicans who voted against providing $28 million in aid to the Food and Drug Administration to address the shortage of baby formula—within days of criticizing President Biden for not doing enough on the issue. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) voted late Wednesday against the measure to provide new FDA funding, which the House approved on a largely party-line vote of 231 to 192. Twelve Republicans broke ranks and joined with Democrats in backing the money.
Wow. Twelve entire Republicans bucked their party’s general election strategy by having a soul. This development greatly disappointed Rep. Steve Scalise, who thought he’d sucked up the last of those for his collection.
“Instead of working with Republicans to find bipartisan solutions to address the issue, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi dropped this legislation yesterday in hopes of covering up the administration’s ineptitude by throwing additional money at the FDA with no plan to actually fix the problem, all while failing to hold the FDA accountable,” Scalise said in a notice urging Republican lawmakers to vote against the measure.
The formula shortage, caused mainly by a combination of pandemic-related supply chain problems and the trade deal the former president* threw together with Canada, has been the talking point du jour for the Republicans over the past few weeks. It was a way for them to demonstrate that they care about the post-born while they celebrate their imminent triumph regarding the pre-born. (Scott Lemieux at LG&M reminds us of Barney Frank’s legendary wisecrack that the GOP believes that life begins at conception and ends at birth.) Not that they planned to do anything about it, mind you. So, when the president acted on his own, their concern for starving American babies evaporated.
Take, for example, Rep. Elise Stefanik, upper New York’s gift to colossal hypocrisy. It was her ham-fisted manipulation of the formula shortage that led to her now-legendarily slanderous Tweet in which she called Democrats “pedo grifters.” Did Stefanik vote for the bill on Thursday? You’re kidding, right?
Stefanik, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and other House Republican women introduced a competing measure Wednesday called the “Babies Need More Formula Now Act” aimed at making it easier for American parents to obtain formula from abroad. “Joe Biden’s failed leadership is responsible for America’s baby formula crisis,” Stefanik said in a tweet Wednesday.
Lily Tomlin is as right as Barney Frank was—no matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.