Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sister Hears Back From Rep. Bishop

My sister got this letter back from Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT). Add this one to the boilerplate "concern" letters, but at least Rep. Bishop said he'd support changes to CPSIA.


Dear [Wacky Hermit's Sister]:

Thanks for your letter. I've heard from several people in Utah who are
similarly concerned about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, and
the impact it might have on small businesses, thrift stores, and
individuals who make toys and sell them to their friends or other

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was intended to tighten the
safety standards on some children's products--specifically those being
imported from China that contained dangerous amounts of lead. I didn't
intend it to place a burden on small businesses, but this is what happens
when the government acts hastily based on the emotion of several tragic

Fortunately, thousands of people like you have contacted the Consumer
Product Safety Commission with these concerns. The Commission has felt
that pressure and has begun a rulemaking process to decide how to
implement the law. Also acting under public pressure, several members of
the Energy and Commerce Committee--the committee with jurisdiction in this
area--have sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission urging
them to exempt certain products from the testing and certification
requirements of the law. Specifically they've asked that children's books
and children's apparel be exempted since neither books nor clothing would
ever have any reason to contain excess amounts of lead or other dangerous

I'm hopeful the Commission will follow this guidance and that the major
concerns with the law will be resolved before February 10th. I'll
continue to monitor the CPSC and hope they will protect small businesses.

I am also willing to vote for a repeal of this law so that Congress can
re-work the issue and this time get it right. You should know, though,
the sponsor of this bill doesn't think his bill is hurtful or wrong, so
our best hope is with CPSC rules.

Thanks again for your letter.


Rob Bishop
Member of Congress