In recent weeks, I contacted my representatives regarding the impact of CPSIA. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) replied via snail mail letter dated January 9, 2008, with a less than impressive response. Since my scanner is on the fritz, I can’t upload that yet.
Today (Jan 29, 2009) I received the following email response from Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL):
Dear Mrs. Xxxxxxx:
Thank you for contacting me regarding concerns about the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the safety of consumer products — especially those intended for infants and young children — is one of my top priorities. Last year, I cosponsored the CPSIA because I believed the public had lost confidence in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) ability to protect consumers. The legislation contained a number of provisions intended to restore that confidence, including new safety standards, a substantial increase in funding for the CPSC, and a new CPSC laboratory testing facility.
However, I also understand your concern that the CPSC’s implementation of this law may have unintended consequences that negatively affect small manufacturers, retailers, and consignment shops. The CPSIA was drafted in a manner that provides substantial flexibility for the CPSC to deal with the concerns of small business entities and manufacturers of products that are “inherently safe.” On January 16, 2009, the chair of both the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a joint letter to CPSC Acting Chair Nancy Nord requesting that she use the existing authority in the CPSIA to issue guidance on: 1) the applicability of testing requirements to children’s books and certain children’s apparel; 2) consignment store resellers of children’s products; 3) component part testing; and 4) testing guidance to small business entities. The letter further calls on Acting Chair Nord to issue guidance on these issues as soon as possible.
I share the concerns of the committee leadership, and will continue to work with the CPSC to ensure that they implement the CPSIA according to congressional intent, and in a manner that does not unduly penalize small business entities. Should you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.
P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If you’d like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for them at http://billnelson.senate.gov/news/ebriefs.cfm
If you need to send another message to Senator Nelson, please use the form on his Web site: http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm#email