CPSIA Update: A House Hearing In the Works

By July 9, 2009Regulations

We’re hearing from Hill sources that Chairman Henry Waxman has planned a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (or subcommittee) on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act during the week of July 20. Inez Tenenbaum, the new chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, would be the sole witness.

Rep. Waxman alluded to such a hearing during his Tuesday appearance on the Diane Rehm Show:

Waxman: [That] law wanted to protect infants from toys that are made with chemicals that can do them neurological damage. But the people running the Consumer Product Safety Commission are enforcing it in a way that to me doesn’t make sense. And we’re hoping that with the new people taking control of the agency will have a more thoughtful regulation and enforcement, and if not, we’re going to have to legislate.

Rehm: And are you planning on holding hearings?

Waxman: We will be holding hearings and looking at this issue and trying to deal with it.

Well, good! And for committee members to effectively do their jobs, they need to hear from manufacturers and retailers harmed by the CPSIA, including representatives of the small, home-based crafts and clothing businesses who have drawn so much attention to the law’s excesses. Chairman Tenenbaum is new in her post, and too many House members have been dismissive of the protests from business and consumers, trying to blame the CPSC for bad enforcement practices when the problem is clearly the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act itself.

So let’s hear from the people. There are plenty of stories about the pain being inflicted by the CPSIA, like this one in The Arizona Republic, “Companies feel strain of complying with safety law“:

Reading through the paperwork, Karen Brooks thought it was a joke. It was unlike anything she’d seen in 20 years.

“This can’t be happening,” she told herself in 2007, as she skimmed through pages of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Actthat had been passed by Congress.

Brooks works for Bumkins, a Scottsdale manufacturer of baby products. As production and sourcing manager, she oversees the Scottsdale location’s day-to-day operation. It’s her job to make sure the company is in compliance with the evolving federal legislation.

But the law, meant to protect children from harmful products in toys and clothes, is increasing costs for some small business owners, and driving others out of business.

(Hat tip: @melanes)

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jennifer says:

    what a joke…the only witness is the chair who was just sworn in? aaah, mr. waxman, this is how congress really works. no need to purchase the new book he is promoting, we are experiencing it in action.

  • How much you wanna bet that no matter what date they pick for the hearing, it’ll get cancelled?

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