From the Office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPISA) – a measure signed into law last year which gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) new authorities and resources and significantly strengthens its ability to protect Americans from defective and unsafe products.
“In the last few years, dozens of children were killed and thousands more injured because of dangerous toys on our store shelves. Recall after recall had many in Congress wondering if America’s consumer watchdog agency had lost its bite.”
“In response, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the bipartisan Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act - virtually eliminating lead from toys and children’s products, providing new enforcement tools and requiring manufacturers to prove their products meet national safety standards before those products can be sold in stores.”
“Don’t be fooled. The CPSIA is the most important consumer legislation in more than thirty years. It has made consumers safer and the CPSC stronger. CPSC has the authority and the responsibility to offer guidance about the law’s implementation and its effect on industry. But above all else, it has a duty to place consumer safety over industry convenience.”
“Sadly, some at the CPSC are doing everything in their power to thwart effective implementation of this law. The same people who presided over the decline of the agency and resisted additional resources and authorities to strengthen its mission, are now refusing to apply commonsense interpretations to basic safety provisions in the CPSIA.”
Durbin chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government and has been a leader in attempting to strengthen the beleaguered consumer watchdog agency. Last year, Durbin was instrumental in passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and was responsible for providing the largest funding increase in the history of the agency to help address critical staffing shortfalls, technology upgrades, and laboratory space needs.
Last week Durbin sent a letter to Nancy Nord, Acting Chairman of the CPSC, expressing concern with her recent comments criticizing new legislation, and showing continued resistance to modernizing and reforming the much maligned agency she leads. A copy of that letter is attached.