Barton: CPSC Ignored Congress is Creating Product Database

By December 3, 2010Regulations

The Washington Post today picks up an earlier Chicago Tribune story on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s rules to create the product safety complaint database, a straightforward, tit-for-tat journalistic accounting of the disagreements. We could grouse about the major media covering the excesses of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act after only the damage is done, but at least there’s journalism being committed.

Today’s article mentions an issue that the National Association of Manufacturers has emphasized: The CPSC’s definition of the “reporters” who can submit recognized complaints to the database is much broader than the definition Congress established.

In what could yet develop into an obstacle for the new system, a Republican congressman who is in line to become the chairman of the committee that spawned the database legislation said the rules for the database were tilted against business.

“Several provisions of the staff-proposed final rule run contrary to the intent of Congress and the clear and unambiguous language of the act,” Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-Tex.) said in a letter to Tenenbaum.

Barton is seeking to become the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which under Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) cheered on the rigid, expensive and unworkable rules that have driven ATVs and bikes out of the market, clothes out of thrift stores, children’s book out of libraries, and home-based businesses out of existence. The committee never engaged in serious oversight of the agency and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act during the 111th Congress, and we expect that to change no matter who the new chairman is.

Barton’s letter is available here.

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