“Secret Santa”

In the spirit of the holidays, Congress has given the CPSC several gifts which we are now unwrapping. But as is sometimes true at holiday time, the Congress did not get the gift request quite right. On the positive side, Congress is promising the agency additional funds. Like all federal agencies, we want and will gratefully accept every new dollar we can get for consumer safety.

However, this past weekend, we also were given two additional “gifts.” The first is a pending amendment to the CPSIA which contains a narrow exception from the lead provisions apparently designed to aid the ATV, bicycle and book industries. While the amendment is less than clear legislative drafting, with its passage, Congress does acknowledge, for the first time, what many of us at the agency have been saying for many months–the inflexible nature of the CPSIA has limited the ability of the CPSC to minimize the unintended consequences of the law–hurting product sellers and limiting consumer choice while not advancing safety. This amendment was drafted in a closed and partisan process, without input from relevant stakeholders and its shortcomings reflect this flawed process. However, in the spirit of the season, let us hope that this is a first step in correcting the problems with the CPSIA.

The second “gift” is a direction from the Congress to consider the impact of the testing and certification provisions of the law on small businesses, to consider exemptions from the statute where there is no real risk of lead exposure to children and to present to Congress by mid-January, 2010, recommendations for ways the statute could be improved. I hope that all Commissioners will be part of this process. At a recent Commission meeting, my colleague, Commissioner Northup, and I raised the possibility of writing to Congress about the need to give the CPSC more flexibility. While the Commission failed to reach out to Congress, Congress has reached out to the Commission, thus giving us the opportunity to work together to craft something that improves safety for the American consumer, and that would be a gift that keeps on giving.

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7 Responses to ““Secret Santa””


  1. 1 James Dyson March 4, 2014 at 2:12 am

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  2. 3 aids August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Compared to the rest of the RINO scum and lifetime politicians running the country, I feel better knowing there is at least one politician who isnt on somebodys payroll and still believes in the constitution.

  3. 4 Mars Feeney December 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Excluding books from the CPSIA is good – they never posed any safety threat.

    However, most of the products covered by the CPSIA pose no more lead threat than do books. If Henry Waxman believes they pose a lead threat then he must believe that books do to. So apparently he is willing to expose our children to the significant lead threat (in his mind) of books for politically expediency because books are a hot button issue.

    By ignoring any critical input, by ignoring anyone who doesn’t agree with him, by ignoring the science, by ignoring risk analysis, by putting together his little amendment in secret:

    - Henry Waxman is making a mockery of transparency in government
    - Henry Waxman is making a mockery of putting science back in government
    - Henry Waxman is making a mockery of risk analysis
    - Henry Waxman is making a mockery of bi-partisanship
    - Henry Waxman is making a mockery of the core values the Democrats have been telling us they believe in.

    - Henry Waxman is making a mockery of child safety

    In short: Henry Waxman is making a mockery of Democracy.

    And apparently the rest of the Democrats in Congress do not have the spine to stand up to him.

    Before I started following the CPSIA I was proud to say I was a Democrat. Now I’m just embarassed!

    I am one California Democrat who will almost certainly be voting Republican in the next election. I know of numerous others. The CPSIA is the reason.

  4. 5 dan marshall December 15, 2009 at 2:08 am

    The small batch manufacturers and importers who make up the Handmade Toy Alliance deserve the opportunity to let Congress know directly how the CPSIA has impacted our businesses and our families. While we truly appreciate the CPSC’s willingness to listen to our concerns, there are quite a few issues which only Congress can resolve. We simply cannot and will not rest until we are allowed to testify in open hearings in the House and Senate.

    History tells us that the 2011 Congress will almost certainly be under new management. Who would Democrats rather put in charge of fixing the unintended consequences of the CPSIA? Themselves in 2010 or a Republican Congress in 2011? From our perspective, sooner is better.

    Mr. Waxman: it’s time to reopen the book on the CPSIA and give small batch manufacturers and others who have been unfairly impacted by the CPSIA a chance to speak truth to power.


  1. 1 Shopfloor » Blog Archive » CPSIA Update: So We All Agree, Then? Congress Must Act! Trackback on January 27, 2010 at 10:09 am
  2. 2 CPSIA – Waxman Amendment Update : Trackback on December 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm

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