CPSIA: “Blowback” on Capitol Hill

by Walter Olson on June 9, 2009

Neil Munro covers it at National Journal (PDF, courtesy AmendTheCPSIA), and mentions toward the end a certain blog that “has rallied opponents of the law”. A few highlights: walkingstick2

  • “‘Like every member of Congress, I’ve heard from people in my district … [who say] they will literally be put out of business because of something that China did,’ said Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., chairman of the House Small Business Committee’s Investigations and Oversight Panel. ‘We cast the net wider than we should have.'”
  • Later, however: “Altmire’s position reflects tensions in the Democratic caucus.” You bet it does: “Most Democratic legislators, staff aides, and allied advocates have resisted calls for a change in the law”, and one, regrettably anonymous, claims that opponents “are deliberately misreading the law to make it unworkable” so as to get it reopened. Among “allied advocates”, there’s Elizabeth Hitchcock, the public health advocate for the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, who is quite dismissive of the cries of small makers going under: “Complaints about job losses in the small-business sector are usually a mask for the interests of large firms, Hitchcock said.” More on the PIRG groups here, here, here, here, here, and here (& more in comments and from Deputy Headmistress).
  • “Lobbyists on both sides of the issue” say the CPSIA outcry could affect the fate of an upcoming Waxman-backed bill called the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act, “which would apply the environmentalists’ ‘precautionary principle’ by requiring extensive safety testing of chemicals found in plastics, food, textiles, and manufactured goods before they could be sold.”

{ 5 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 06.09.09 at 3:13 pm

If I were a gambler I’d be willing to bet that as we approach the 2010 election cycle there will be a concerted effort to marginalize those who want to reform this horribly written law.

2 Evan 06.10.09 at 12:48 pm

This is shameless blog promotion, but over at the U. Arizona we just dealt PIRG’s attempt to institute a student fee. The main posts can be accessed here and here.

3 Wacky Hermit 06.11.09 at 9:56 am

Todd, that’d be a pretty safe bet, seeing as how it’s already happening. I make handmade booties out of my living room, but I’m a shill for Big Business, according to PIRG! Now if only those “large firms” (whoever they are) would send me my first check…

4 Wacky Hermit 06.11.09 at 9:58 am

…preferably they’ll send the check BEFORE I have to close my business because of CPSIA…

…any minute now, “large firms”…

… still waiting…

[crickets]

5 Amy Alkon 06.11.09 at 12:03 pm

Linking to this post within my comments. Thanks again, Walter, for all you’re doing on this.

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