DURBIN MAKES STRONG STATEMENT ABOUT REFORM OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) held a press conference today where he discussed recent remarks by the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and touted a strong reform package to strengthen the faltering watchdog agency.
This year alone, more than 20 million toys have been recalled because they pose hazards to children. The CPSC, which is responsible for overseeing the safety of more than 15,000 consumer goods, employs fewer than 425 full-time staff, relies on antiquated testing facilities and employs just one full-time toy tester.
In a letter to the Commerce Committee last week, however, CPSC Chairwoman, Nancy Nord, called the Senate bill “unnecessary” and urged lawmakers to oppose the legislation.
Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee passed The CPSC Reform Act of 2007, which will more than double the agency’s budget from $62.7 million to $141.7 million by 2015, increase staffing levels by nearly 20 percent, dramatically increase the cap on fines from $1.8 million to $100 million and give the CPSC greater authority to inspect and recall products. The bill also contains a third party testing requirement for children's products, bans lead in children’s jewelry, and makes it illegal to knowingly sell a recalled product.