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CPSC Reauthorization

Legislative Issue Update - June 2008

[updated June 2008]

Legislation to reauthorize and reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has passed both houses of Congress. The House passed H.R. 4040, “Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act” in December 2007 by a vote of 407 to 0, while the Senate, on a bipartisan 79 to 13 vote, passed its version of the bill in March.

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.

House - Senate negotiations at the staff level have been underway for months in an effort to narrow differences between the two bills. Senate conferees were appointed in April and conferees on the part of the House were named in mid-May. Signs now point to a conference that is nearing completion and as Staff Reports goes to press, it appears that a Conference Report may be forthcoming by the July 4th recess.