Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dick Durbin Attack Part II

Dick Durbin's proud of his attacks

I have reprinted his statement in it's entirely so that I can discuss some of the most egregious aspects of it. My comments are in italics.

Durbin: Don't Be Fooled - CPSIA Most Important Consumer Legislation In More Than 30 Years

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) – 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. (Where is the support for these statistics? I am unable to verify.) Recall after recall had many in Congress wondering if America’s consumer watchdog agency had lost its bite.(If there have been many recalls, does that not indicate that the CPSC is doing it's job very well?)”

“In response, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the bipartisan Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act - virtually eliminating lead from toys and children’s products, (With no effort to determine risk assessment) providing new enforcement tools (exorbitant fines and the unleashing of 50 Attorneys General to enforce this law unevenly) and requiring manufacturers to prove their products meet national safety standards before those products can be sold in stores.(at a cost of hundreds of dollars for each batch of each style of each product, thereby putting many businesses OUT of business)”

“Don’t be fooled. The CPSIA is the most important consumer legislation in more than thirty years. (I agree here. It is the most important because it was passed without due consideration of what it entailed or how it could be implemented resulting in devastating losses to consumers and must now be undone.) It has made consumers safer and the CPSC stronger. (That remains to be seen)CPSC has the authority and the responsibility to offer guidance about the law’s implementation and its effect on industry. (Offering guidance is what the CPSC has been doing but the law gives the CPSC very little leeway in making exemptions.) But above all else, it has a duty to place consumer safety over industry convenience. (Neither the CPSC nor the affected businesses have in any way placed convenience over safety)

“Sadly, some at the CPSC are doing everything in their power to thwart effective implementation of this law. (Simply untrue, Nord and her staff have been doing everything in their power to try to implement this poorly written 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.”(as stated previously, commonsense interpretations have been protested by the misguided proponents of this law and overturned in courts)

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 (hasn't been received to date)to help address critical staffing shortfalls, technology upgrades, and laboratory space needs (No additional monies have yet to actually been issued to the CPSC while expecting them to implement several sweeping legislative initiatives).

Last week Durbin sent a letter to Nancy Nord, Acting Chairman of the CPSC, expressing concern with her recent comments criticizing new legislation, (Nord criticizes the aspects that are deserving of that criticism. She has shown admirable interest in safety while trying to assist businesses in common sense ways as much as this law allows. The law was written so as to give very little leeway to the CPSC as evidenced by the overturn of a critical decision regarding retroactivity of the phthalates restrictions.) and showing continued resistance to modernizing and reforming the much maligned agency she leads. (I see no evidence of resistance to modernizing. The resistance has come from members of Congress such as Durbin who steadfastly refuse to open their eyes to see the damages caused by this law without a resultant safety increase.)

Dick Durbin, here's my message to you. Read some of the articles about the unnecessary damages caused by this law. They have appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. Talk to Rick Woldenberg of Learning Resources. If you won't even enter into a discussion on this matter, then expect me and every other Illinois voter I can reach out to, to oppose your next election campaign.

1 comment:

sassypackrat said...

Cheer to you! If I knew in November what I knew in December I NEVER would have voted for Durbin. And you can be assured I NEVER will again and will encourage everyone I know in the State of Illinois NOT to re-elect this pompous, self-serving, hiding behind the public good for his own glory idiot.
Keep up the fight Connie and I will too!