- Mr. Alexander Hoehn-Saric, of Maryland, to be a Commissioner and Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Ms. Mary T. Boyle, of Maryland, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Mr. Richard Trumka Jr., of Maryland, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Mr. Grant Harris, of California, to be Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis, Department of Commerce
Hybrid Full Committee Nominations Hearing
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Commerce Committee Hearing Room, SR-253
Watch LIVE at www.commerce.senate.gov
Due to current limited access to the Capitol complex, the general public is encouraged to view this hearing via the live stream. Social distancing is now lifted for vaccinated members of the press who wish to attend.
Ranking Member Roger Wicker
Thank you Madam Chair for convening this hearing to consider the nominations of Mr. Alex Hoehn-Saric to be Chairman and Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Ms. Mary Boyle and Mr. Richard Trumka Jr. to be Commissioners of the CPSC, and Mr. Grant Harris to be Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis at the Department of Commerce. These positions are vitally important to the safety of consumers and in keeping American industries competitive internationally.
I want to welcome Mr. Hoehn-Saric back to our committee, where he once served as a professional staff member handling consumer protection and product safety issues, among other responsibilities. He has numerous professional credentials, and it is noteworthy that he currently serves as Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I have been engaged on matters under the CPSC’s jurisdiction since I arrived in Congress, particularly because of its impact on the furniture industry in Mississippi. I look forward to hearing from him about his plans and goals for the agency, should he be confirmed.
Ms. Boyle has served at the CPSC for more than a decade. She has been Executive Director of the CPSC since 2018, after previously serving as Senior Counselor for Policy and Planning, Deputy General Counsel, and General Counsel. Her long tenure at the CPSC gives her a unique vantage point to speak with insight about the significant recent administrative failures at the agency – including the improper disclosure of unredacted manufacturer and consumer data, which occurred for an extended period of time. I conducted an investigation into these unauthorized data disclosures while I was Chairman of this committee. We determined that these disclosures, which violated section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, resulted from a lack of training, ineffective management, and poor information technology implementation.
I am also troubled by reports that the CPSC curtailed port inspections for several months last year. This indicates a strong probability that many more hazardous products slipped into the domestic market than in previous years. In fact, just yesterday I sent a letter with Senator Blackburn to the Government Accountability Office requesting a thorough independent analysis of the CPSC’s action. I am very interested in the information Ms. Boyle will provide to the committee on these and other important topics.
Mr. Trumka currently serves as General Counsel and Staff Director for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. That is a mouthful. Before this role he worked in the Maryland Office of Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division. I am hopeful his experience with consumer protection issues will be beneficial to the nation if he is confirmed.
Mr. Harris has worked in various public service roles, including Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs during the Obama Administration. He has also worked as a consultant in the private sector and has taught courses at the university level on strategy and political risk in emerging markets. I look forward to hearing from him about how his experience would strengthen the efforts of the Industry and Analysis unit at the International Trade Administration as they seek to make U.S. industries more competitive abroad.
I want to thank all of the nominees for their willingness to serve and their willingness to appear before the committee today. Thank you Madam Chair.
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Alexander Hoehn-SaricNominee to be Commissioner and ChairConsumer Product Safety Commission
Ms. Mary T. BoyleNominee to be CommissionerConsumer Product Safety Commission
Mr. Richard Trumka Jr.Nominee to be CommissionerConsumer Product Safety Commission
Mr. Grant HarrisNominee to be Assistant Secretary for Industry and AnalysisDepartment of Commerce