“…common sense rules of the road…” – President Barack Obama, Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2011

Today the President issued an Executive Order emphasizing that, as federal agencies carry out their responsibilities to protect the public interest, they also consider how those rules impact economic growth, innovation and job creation.  In a Wall Street Journal editorial published today, the President acknowledges that some regulations “have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.”  He calls on all agencies to “root out regulations that…are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.”  The CPSC could provide a number of candidates for rules that meet this description.  For example, aspects of the recently-issued children’s product definition which impose expensive and burdensome third party testing on products that were not traditionally thought of as children’s products – such as carpets and rugs – fall into both categories, that is, not worth the cost and just plain dumb.  Aspects of the recently issued database rule would also qualify, e.g. allowing inaccurate information to mislead consumers. 

While it is true that independent regulatory agencies such as the CPSC are not formally bound by executive orders, it has been the past practice of this agency to follow executive orders if they are not in conflict with our statutes.  This past practice has fallen by the wayside recently.  We will soon be considering a final rule on testing and certification.  While we have some initial indications from a summary regulatory flexibility analysis that this rule will impose very significant costs on small business, we have not done the analysis called for by the executive order.  Without this analysis, the Commission will be acting without full information. 

We know that regulations issued by this agency in response to the CPSIA have forced safe products off the market and have driven small companies out of business.  Doing the analysis the President calls for could help quantify the impact of our rules on the public – both from a cost and from a benefit standpoint. We need to maintain our focus on safety and health by focusing our regulatory efforts on products that present serious hazards.  I hope that we will follow his call.


5 Responses to ““…common sense rules of the road…” – President Barack Obama, Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2011”

  1. 1 Esther January 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I find extreme irony in President Obama’s executive order. It’s his own administration that not only imposed the burdensome regulations of CPSIA, but they have refused to listen to the appeal for relief for two years. No. This executive order is hollow and has no teeth. Nothing is going to change until Obama and his cronies are out of office.

  2. 2 Sarah Natividad January 19, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Even if President Obama were sincere about reducing regulatory burdens and conflicts, I doubt he’d be able to do much about it. While some of the over-regulation is due to decisions made solely by the executive branch, a good deal of it is written into the legislation, e.g. CPSIA taking risk-based decision making away from CPSC. No amount of executive orders can fix that.

    I’ll believe President Obama is sincere about “strik[ing] the right balance” when I see a regulation-reducing bill of his get introduced to the Congress. If he wants to start with a softball that will give him an easy success, he can begin with rescinding the 1099 provision of the health care bill.

  3. 3 Kristi Hayes-Devlin January 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I enjoy reading your thoughtful, reasonable blog entries about CPSIA. I am hopeful that the sentiments you share — balancing reason with safety measures so that children can be made safer without bankrupting businesses — will be heard and the law will some day be revised in a reasonable fashion. Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts!

  4. 4 Janice McAleer January 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I hope this really does bring more common sense into the regulatory process. Listening to the news this afternoon and reading your post gave me some optimism. Thank you for the update.

  5. 5 Mary Beth January 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thank you for posting this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 986 other followers


RSS CPSC Breaking News & Recent Recalls

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Nancy's Photos

  • 80,875 visits

%d bloggers like this: