Friday, March 20, 2009

Defending the Indefensible

When I first learned about the CPSIA - a new law that makes anything for a child 12 and under illegal unless expensive tests are run - I wrote my congressman and Senators. Unfortunately both are Democrats, not that I think they'd give me a different response if they were Republicans, but they are both big government style liberals. So of course they defend their support of this stupid law.

This is the response I got from Representative Adam Smith. I can NOT believe he is trying to blame this mess on the Chairwoman of the CPSC!!! Talk about passing the buck. I heard her interviewed on Hugh Hewitt's show and she does not want to enforce the law but must. But at least he acknowledges that the law's strict interpretation by the CPSC is not a good thing. I appreciate that. The response from Rep Murray was more of a brush off.

Dear Megan,

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue, and I would like to take this opportunity to respond.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. CPSC works to reduce the risk to the public by working with specific industries and other interested parties to develop product safety standards. In addition, the Commission is responsible for issuing and enforcing product safety standards, researching potential hazards and recalling hazardous products.

Congressman Bobby Rush introduced the CPSIA in November of 2007. It came to the House floor for a vote on December 17th and passed with a vote of 424-1. The bill was signed into law on August 14th, 2008 and went into effect on February 10, 2009. As you may know, the CPSIA sets levels of acceptable lead content in products for children under 12 years old at 600 parts per million (ppm), and requires manufactures to certify third party tests for lead and certain types of phthalates. The current lead content limit will be phased down to 300 ppm August 14, 2009 and 100 ppm by August 14, 2011, if technologically feasible. Additionally, the lead and phthalates testing is required for all children's products whether produced on a global scale or in a family workshop.

Since the bill's passage into law with broad bipartisan support, there has been increasing concern that its application by the CPSC may impose unreasonable restrictions on certain products, like bicycles and motor bikes, and leave little room for possible exemptions to retailers and small businesses. The CPSC's strict interpretation of the law has led ranking Democrats, Representative Henry Waxman and Senator John D Rockefeller IV, to ask President Obama to replace CPSC Chairwoman Nancy Nord. Overall, this is a very difficult situation; we must find the appropriate balance of protecting our consumers without over-regulating our businesses.

In January, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification. This provides limited relief to some crafters, toy makers, and children's garment manufacturers until February 2010. These producers will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the commission. However, all businesses, including those exempted by the one year stay, will still be expected to comply with the safety requirements of the CPSIA.

As a father of two children, I take the work of the CPSC very seriously; the safety of my family, and all families, is extremely important to me. I will work hard to address your concerns with my colleagues and look into the issues you have raised. I appreciate your concerns, and agree that businesses, manufacturers and retailers, may be negatively and unfairly impacted if certain requirements are not fully considered and clarified.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this issue. Please don't hesitate to contact me further should you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns on this or any other issue.


Adam Smith

Member of Congress


They passed this law...all of the politicians together. With no concern about the actual effects on consumers and businesses. It needs to be repealed completely!

Learn more about this law and how it affects you.
Help Save Handmade Toys


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

That's the point, get rid of the little guy and then the government can run everything. That's the direction things are going in my humble opinion.

Try to have a great Friday and weekend. :)

Anna said...

Sadly, I got a similar response from my Republican congressman and absolutely no answer from my Republican senator. There was a little, "Oh, but we passed the reform for the resell and thrift stores and that will help." He didn't even address my concerns for the cottage industry and how this was going to kill it for all the handmade crafters.

Don't you love how they flip it around and make it sound like you don't care at all for the kids?! That burns my butt, especially since the whole reason the handmade cottage industry grew was BECAUSE people didn't want lead-filled, toxic toys from other countries for their kids!

SpeakDog said...

Sandee's right. Their goal is to shut down any industry that doesn't submit to their "regulations" and shut down any industry that doesn't use union thugs for the labor.

This administration is a disgrace. If America doesn't replace every one of these current assholes, there's no hope for the future of this Republic.