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Monday, March 16, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Waxman Drags Feet on Needed CPSIA Reform

Today's Outrage of the Day to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), for his refusal to hold hearings on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), legislation adopted last year (see this blog's prior coverage here and here) that has forced charities and thrift shops to toss out large volumes of used clothing and other goods, caused used bookstores to toss out children's books published before 1985, halted sales of dirt bikes, handmade toys and other children's goods, and more.

Congress adopted this law in apparent response to widespread reports of children ingesting dirt bike parts.

No, not really. Congress adopted adopted this law in part because it has no idea what it is doing (that's what happens when lawmakers vote on bills no one has read, coming from an ideological bias that the bigger government grows, the better we'll be), but that's no excuse for not revisiting the issue now that the truth is kicking many people in the teeth.

Every day this law remains unreformed, jobs get killed and books (some of which are irreplaceable) get tossed away.

You can tell that to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), though, chairman of the House Committee with jurisdiction, and he'll tell you he'll get to it later.

As Walter Olson put it on his Overlawyered blog:
...Waxman, for his part, has announced his intent to hold no hearing on the law until the Obama Administration installs a new chair at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That serves the multiple functions of 1) stalling (while more small enterprises are driven out of business and thus are neutralized as political threats); 2) reinforcing the impression that the ball is in someone else’s court on addressing the law’s harms; 3) assisting in orchestrating whatever hearing is eventually held, since he expects an ally of his own to be installed as CPSC chair...
So now, as Overlawyered reports it, ordinary citizens are now planning their own "people's hearing" on the matter, hoping through direct action to get some relief.

It shouldn't be necessary. Congress made a huge mistake. It should admit it, and fix it.

For more on this, visit Overlawyered's CPSIA tag.

Hat tip (as if you couldn't guess): http://overlawyered.com.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:12 PM

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