Thursday, January 29, 2009

Letter From Rep. Jason Chaffetz

A friend of mine, a constituent of Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, passed this along to me. It's Chaffetz's response to her concerns about CPSIA. He's new and he wasn't around for the original passage of CPSIA, so since he said he wouldn't have voted for it, we'll give him a bit of a pass on falling for Waxman and Rush's feint.


Dear Mrs. B-------,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. We appreciate your patience in regards to our response time. Starting a brand new office is exciting and challenging. We pride ourselves on prompt communications with our constituency and as we settle into our new office, our response time will be much quicker.

The CPSIA was introduced to the United States House of Representatives November 1, 2007 and sent to the United States Senate on December 19, 2007, upon passage of the bill by the House of Representatives (I was not a member of the Congress at the time, however, had I been, I would have voted against this bill). The bill was introduced, and ultimately passed, due to an increase in toy-related injuries caused by lead-based paint used on children's toys. Toys imported to the United States from China were of particular concern to the lawmakers who crafted the original legislation.

As is the case when the heavy hand of government gets involved in regulating the private sector, problems occur. The original legislative intent of this bill has been completely altered since President Bush signed this bill into law on August 6, 2008. The regulation of small business owners who manufacture children's books, apparel, and other various product is unreasonable and unfair.

On January 6, 2009, the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman, sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission requesting the Commission to exempt the below products from costly testing and certification procedures, specifically:

1.Children's books that have no unusual components or materials beyond those of an ordinary book; and

2.Children's apparel that consists entirely of dyed or undyed fabric that is unlikely to contain excess amounts of lead and does not include metal, plastic, or painted components that may contain lead in excess of the law's limit.

The Commission has the authority to evoke rule changes regarding the legislation. The rulemaking process is used by the Executive Branch to create or abolish rules based on the legislation that created the public law. The rulemaking process can be influenced by congressional leaders (aforementioned Waxman letter) and by public comment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission may be reached via their website, I recommend to all concerned parties contact the CPSC and express their concerns with the legislation. I have been in contact with my colleagues who serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee and they assure me they are using their positions of power to bring about a decision before the February 10, 2009 deadline.

Again, thank you and we look forward to hearing from you regarding any other problems or concerns you may have.

Jason Chaffetz