CPSIA: a scorecard of reform bills

by Walter Olson on March 20, 2009

slothfultoad

Carter Wood at ShopFloor has a very useful compilation of what are probably all the current bills introduced in Congress related to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. (More, of course, may follow as the crisis continues.) Of the 10 bills, one is an omnibus appropriation bill, while the other nine (six in the House, three in the Senate) all appear from their descriptions to be aimed at reforming the substance of the law, its timetables and deadlines, or both.

Significantly, there was introduced this week the first bill with a Democratic (i.e. majority) sponsor, a bill by Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester to overturn the dirtbike ban.

The three bills in the Senate are S. 608, the Tester bill on motorcycles and related vehicles; S. 374, the much-discussed bill by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) that would have injected common sense into several areas of the law, and which Congress (under pressure from Public Citizen and others) refused to incorporate into the stimulus package; and S. 389, a bill introduced by Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) “to establish a conditional stay of the ban on lead in children’s products, and for other purposes.”

The six bills in the House are H.R. 1510 and H.R. 1587, introduced by Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), both relating to cycles/vehicles; H.R. 968, by John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) and H.R. 1465, by Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), both of which are described as providing “regulatory relief to small and family-owned businesses”; H.R. 1046, by Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), to “ensure the effective implementation of children’s product safety standards under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008″, and H.R. 1027, by Bill Posey (R-Fla.), to “exempt second-hand sellers of certain products from the lead content and certification requirements”.

CORRECTION: I erroneously listed Indiana Congressman Brad Ellsworth above as a Republican, but he is a Democrat; fixed now.

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CPSIA: handing the GOP an issue?
03.26.09 at 8:18 am

{ 2 comments }

1 Vivian Zabel 03.20.09 at 7:57 pm

What a mess. The problem is with the whole CPSIA, not just bits and pieces.

Exempting one thing and then another and then another does not solve for the main problem of the act: It is a poorly crafted, written law which needs to be repealed completely.

Then maybe, just maybe, if a law is needed to protect children, one can be written that makes sense and does protect children, not harm them as this does.

2 William Nuesslein 03.21.09 at 6:20 am

My wife at the time bought into the organic food dogma that agricultural chemicals were very dangerous. (I believe Senator Tester was an organic farmer before running for office.) I tried to explain the science to her, but she knew better. Then bugs attacked her cherry tree. She came back from shopping one day ready to wage war with jugs of chemicals and fancy sprayers.

I disagree a bit with Ms. Zabel. The problem with CPSIA is that it is un-scientific. The lead in the springs in ball-point pens isn’t going to harm babies or anybody else.

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