This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) that would have cut $82.5 million from the Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program, which provides information and guidance to new mothers about breastfeeding and child nutrition.
Foxx urged support for her amendment: “I want to say that I very much believe in breast-feeding. We wouldn't have a human race here today if it weren't for the fact that breast-feeding has been in existence since the beginning of time; however, I am opposed to the federal government funding breast-feeding programs….We are facing a national debt of over $14 trillion. Spending taxpayer money to promote breast-feeding is simply not the proper role of the federal government and serves to illustrate just one reason--government mission creep--that we are so deeply in debt….If we want to promote the health and well-being of women, infants and children, then let's get serious about it by creating a job-friendly environment that puts people back to work and allows American families to keep more of what they earn. Let's stop spending money on every well-intentioned program and return the federal government to its constitutionally mandated purposes.”
Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) opposed Foxx’s amendment: “America has long decided that we ought to be taking care of the most vulnerable people in America. There are women who are pregnant, low-income, and what we've found is if you don't invest in teaching them how to have proper nutrition during their pregnancy, you have a risk of having a low-weight baby. A low-weight baby…can cost up to a quarter of a million dollars in incubation and hospital costs, and this is preventable with good nutrition. We go on to teach women, once that baby is born, how to breast-feed that child. We know that is good health practices….There is a lot of value in keeping women well-nourished during pregnancy and certainly keeping that newborn child well fed and nourished. To strike money from this program is ill founded, and I strongly oppose the amendment.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 119-306. Voting “yea” were 119 Republicans. All 188 Democrats present and 118 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have cut $82.5 million from the Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program, which provides information and guidance to new mothers about breastfeeding and child nutrition.