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CPSC Reauthorization

Legislative Issue Update - January 2008

[added January 2008]

Legislation to reauthorize and reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been rapidly winding its way through both houses of Congress. In the Senate, the NAW-opposed S. 2045, “CPSC Reform Act of 2007” was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on October 30th. Its House counterpart, H.R. 4040, “Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act” was voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on December 18th by a vote of 51 – 0 and passed by the House 407 – 0 the next day.

Both bills are wide-ranging in scope and address, with some differences, enhanced CPSC funding, enforcement, penalties and disclosure, among other things. Additionally, the more problematic Senate bill contains provisions undermining preemption and adding enhanced criminal penalties, a whistleblower “bounty” and right of action, and a bonding requirement.

When the lights went out on the 1st Session of the 110th Congress, H.R. 4040 had been placed on the Senate calendar. At this time, the Senate does not appear to be willing to accept the more “benign” House bill. However, negotiations are underway in an attempt to address the troublesome provisions in S. 2045 which, if successful, will likely lead to Senate consideration of a CPSC reauthorization and reform bill early in the 110th Congress’ second session.