Chairman Tenebaum’s frustrations are clear in her guest commentary post of 7/28/2011, but it should reassure most Americans that the system is working exactly as intended. Congress established a Commission that includes two members not of the President’s party to ensure that a robust, open and honest policy debate will prevent a majority from engaging in one sided rulemaking. I regret that the Chairman is unable to respect opinions with which she differs. But my positions have always been grounded in fact and based on my sincere and deeply held views.
With respect to specific issues, my individual public statements speak for themselves: Database Statement 1, 2; Effective Date for New Crib Standard; Technological Feasibility of 100ppm Lead; Children's Textiles; Definition of a Child’s Product; and, Third Party Testing for Children’s Carpets and Rugs.
Consumer product safety is always my first priority. But I also believe it is essential to adopt regulations that achieve the Commission’s safety mission in a way that does not unnecessarily burden the economy, disrupt markets, destroy jobs, increase consumer prices, reduce consumer choice, or undermine the quality and durability of consumer products. I am proud to have worked to bring that balance to Commission debate, and will unapologetically continue to do so.
I often receive letters, emails and calls from everyday Americans who are suffering because of this Commission’s costly regulations. They speak of closed businesses, lost jobs, and products that are available everywhere in the world except here in America. I recently compiled a list of businesses and individuals harmed by our actions. But perhaps the most eye opening account I have ever received is one sent to me recently by a CPSC field agent:
I just had an opportunity to read your July 20, statement concerning lead ppm.
"I just wanted to say thank you for saying what some many of us in the field are feeling everyday while having to carry out compliance efforts in face to face scenarios with business owners. We don’t have the sanctuary of a phone, a computer or geography to shield us form [sic] the reality of their world.
Since passage and implementation of CPSIA many of us, [geographic location removed], are facing more and more resistive and hostile receptions as we carry out our day to day activities with businesses. This seems to be specifically for the reasons noted in your statement and not just within the limited scope of lead. For the most part these are people with children of their own trying to make a living for their families that have no desire to put out an unsafe product. We are becoming the face of the reason they believe that opportunity is becoming more difficult and/or failing for them. It is so disheartening to go out on an assignment and spend an hour listening to a business owner berate us about how ridiculous some of our regulations and/or procedures are and not have one argument to present in return because they are right.
It is reassuring to know there is still some hope at the Commission level that some day we can return to a state of reasonable regulation and focus on safety, not philosophy and bureaucracy."
The Chairman has difficulty hearing the truth from me. I hope she can be reached by the words of a career Commission employee.
2 months ago