Inez Tenenbaum’s opening statement before the Senate Commerce Committee is now posted. It includes no real engagement with the serious problems caused by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Sen. Pryor suggests she return to the committee to provide an update, perhaps 60 days after her confirmation, saying they could explore more detail then. Fair enough.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) comments about CPSIA, “However, there are some glitches, as often happens with legislation, and some areas where there has been a difference of opinion about the intent of some of the language. ”
Tenenbaum deflects generally — as is SOP in these confirmation hearings — saying, “It would be premature ….to take a position on whether the law needs to be amended,” but she hopes her tenure at the CPSC is seen as embracing common sense.
And, “As soon as we can promulgate the regulations and get guidance in place…the less I believe you will be you will hear in the Senate about the law…”
Hutchison asks about stays of enforcement. Tenenbaum says, “To me the stays of enforcement seem to be working.”
Senator Hutchison is exactly right when she says the Senate Commerce Committee needs to havea hearing about the CPSIA. This certainly isn’t one.
Many folks are following the confirmation hearing with Twitter here.
UPDATE (11:15 a.m.): Senator Boxer poses tough question: “Can you assure me you will put the children first?” Tenenbaum admits that, yes, she will.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) asks about Chinese drywall.
UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): Thanks to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for raising problems her constituents, Polaris and Arctic Cat, face with complying with CPSIA’s reporting requirements for component parts. Although she says no one anticipated these difficulty-causing interpretations. Shouldn’t they have?
UPDATE (noon): Sen. McCaskill says librarians have called her crying because of CPSIA’s effect in removing books. Both she and Tenenbaum talk about need for guidance. With respect, again that misses the point. The problems stem from the law.
Sen. Pryor asks for follow-up questions by today, so committee can move quickly on confirmation. Meeting adjourned.
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