The measure now goes to a conference committee to iron out differences with the House bill, a process that is likely to be contentious since manufacturers and retailers have been lobbying vigorously for the House legislation. But several changes to the Senate bill — lowering fines, limiting lawsuits by state attorneys general to injunctive relief only, and reducing the amount whistle-blowers might receive — brought the two bills more in line. Earlier this week, the White House embraced the House bill but didn’t say it would veto the Senate bill.
The Senate’s changes weren’t enough to mollify the National Association of Manufacturers, however. In a statement, Executive Vice President Jay Timmons expressed reservations about the Senate bill. “While it’s encouraging that the Senate joined the House in taking action to strengthen the CPSC,” he said, “we are still concerned that several provisions in the Senate bill have nothing to do with enhancing product safety but will only increase litigation, undermine uniformity of enforcement, and create unnecessary burdens on U.S. companies.”
Actually, it did mollify, just didn’t satisfy. The bill has definitely improved from earlier Senate versions.
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