Senator Hutchison Calls for Committee Hearing to Fix New CPSC Law

Says “Flexibility and Common Sense” Needed for Small Businesses

June 16, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today called for a hearing to address the unintended consequences associated with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, approved last year, during a nomination hearing for Inez M. Tenenbaum to be Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The law modernized the agency’s authority to match the new global marketplace, increased the financial resources of the CPSC over the next five years, provided for additional staff for the CPSC, and reduced the level of permissible lead in children’s products.  Senator Hutchison noted that the implementation of the new law however had some unintended consequences for small businesses.

“Overall, last year’s law is a good one, and it makes many improvements to the agency. As with most new programs, though, there are a few glitches that need to be worked out,” said Senator Hutchison.  “While we worked very hard to write a good bill and had the best of intentions, we knew it was not perfect, and unintended consequences of the law have since surfaced.”

Senator Hutchison voiced her concerns with the new law’s effect on thrift stores, charity sales, and small businesses and noted the need for “common sense” when it comes to enforcement.  She added that she was concerned with the time businesses have to comply with the law, as well as the need to provide flexibility when a business needs more time.

This Committee needs to hold a hearing to discuss implementation of the law and identify significant problems so we can find a solution that will not inflict further harm on the industries and businesses, including small businesses and home crafters, that are already suffering during these tough economic times,” Senator Hutchison said.  “Everyone can agree that we want to protect consumers from harmful products, especially children, but an unreasonable law will only be counterproductive.”

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