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Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS
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robba
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: CPSIA Follies Reply with quote

The letter to CPSC Chairman Nord is just another example of the fecklessness of our elected representatives. Rather than owning up to having created this problem, they want to lean on the CPSC to get their fat out of the fire. Well, it won't work. The law is written too tightly for the CPSC to rulemake its way around.

What is needed is congressional action--a new law--to postpone the implementation of CPSIA for a year or so, so we can have some breathing room to deal with it. But that would require courage from Chairman Waxman and Chairman Rockefeller. Hmmm, let me think about this: really working and doing what's right, or holding more hearings to publicly berate whoever they dragoon into their committee rooms. I know what they SHOULD do, but I also know what they WILL do. And that leaves us twisting in the wind.

Fully half of my business's revenue stream goes away on Feb. 10. My ten employees' jobs are in peril. And here I always thought that doing business ethically and selling good, safe products was the right thing to do, both for personal gain and for the greater economy of our country. My bad.
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Generation Tie Dye
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afer NUMEROUS (they had two on record as of Friday morning) emails to my Congressman, followed up with 3 more phone calls (the latest yesterday), I FINALLY got an email response that was NOT a form letter. It said they had no record of my emails, and could I "nutshell" the CPSIA for them, as they were busy "working around-the-clock on the Economic Recovery package." Rolling Eyes

I sent them a LONG letter, and then I sent them the Forbes.com article link - and darned if today I didn't get an email from an aide telling me he'd "shake out" the CPSC thing for me next week. It's not like I waited till just before a 4-day weekend and inauguration and all - my first email was sent to them December 7th. Evil or Very Mad

It was a start, at least.

I agree, the letter from Rush et al laying it on the CPSC is some serious back-pedalling AND shirking their own responsibilities. That said, it does look as though they *might* be aware of something outside their own rarified spheres.... Rolling Eyes

Keeping at it, straight thru MLK day AND the Inauguration. Heck, the traffic here'll be too awful Tuesday anyway, may as well spend time being a craftivist! Smile
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senecahart
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a letter dated today, from Reps. Barton and Radanovich to Chairman Waxman. They are requesting a delay of the "imposition of pending CPSC action" and a hearing.
You can read the letter in its entirety here:
http://tinyurl.com/7r4nn4
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Shannon Foster
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

senecahart wrote:
This is a letter dated today, from Reps. Barton and Radanovich to Chairman Waxman. They are requesting a delay of the "imposition of pending CPSC action" and a hearing.
You can read the letter in its entirety here:
http://tinyurl.com/7r4nn4


This is excellent!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Conversation with Senator Hutchison's office Reply with quote

I spoke in length with a representative at Senator Hutchison's office regarding the Act today and ended the call very confused and lost. I was able to speak to a representative by stressing that I was a parent concerned about the inclusion of books in the Act. The rep stated that she didn't *think* books would stick and they would exclude them, and it didn't count for libraries and schools anyway. I asked her how that was, when the same books that were in libraries were also being sold at bookstores. She had no answer other than to be patient. I told her that I was very concerned due to the fact that the TEA was unaware of the Act and the representative of the US Department of Education told me that books were the responsibility of the State Education Departments, not under the jurisdiction of the US Dept. Trying to gain confirmation of his statement I asked, "So the States are on their own individually to test, replace or fight this law?" He said "Basically, yes." The Hutchison rep said she knew the law was a bad one but we needed to wait it out. I asked her if I should look into moving to Canada so my children can receive a proper education. She had no answer.

I then started in on the clothing and how the effect would be astronomical when families can no longer afford to clothe their children due to increased costs or short supplies as it was my understanding that the few testing facilities that were approved by the CPSC were backed up. She really didn't say much other than a suggestion that I sign up for e-mail updates on the CPSC website. I told her that I already had signed up and that reading the legislature left me with more questions than answers.

From there I asked her point blank how can the Government beat into all of our heads for a year now that this stupid digital switch was looming, and yet no one knows of this law. She said she doesn't know how the media decides what stories to pick up. I then asked when the rest of the public was going to be alerted to the law and she stated "I guess when they try to buy something after February 10th."

We then went into custom clothing. I asked what did they expect to happen to the economy when literally thousands of small and even medium sized businesses have to shut down and possibly file bankruptcy as a direct result of this law. She said that they were working on component testing rather than final product testing. I said that all sounds good in theory, but a solid pink fabric isn't intended for children, so it most likely won't be tested at the manufacturing level, so there won't be a certificate to pass down. She sat silent for a moment. I thought she hung up. Then she said, I hadn't thought about that. I will bring that up. I did hear her writing something, but who knows... it was probably a "HELP ME GET OFF THE PHONE FROM THIS PSYCHO LADY" note to her co-workers.

In the end, the only advice was to read the CPSC's website and check often for updates and to be patient. She also stated that the Democrats pushed hard for this bill and don't seem to be backing down now.
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cross posted from here:
Kathleen F. wrote:
Promising signs out of a given congressman's office this morning. Watch this space for more developments. It is all so very exciting.

We will need you all to go out and flog the dirt -hard- in voicing your support of the measure. We need everyone to blog on it, write letters, make phone calls etc. Anyone with a petition or survey will be asked to email anyone for whom they have an address, to notify them of this development to garner support. We have congressional support but we can't leave them hanging with their arses exposed. We have to back them for going against a very popular law


If you want background on what's been happening, start here.
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest, a new letter (pdf) written by TN congressmen Marsha Blackburn and John Duncan to Nancy Nord urging fast action.
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blizzard77
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully there will be more letters like these. However, I've heard that Nancy Nord can do nothing--that any action must instead stem from Henry Waxman. Comments, anyone?
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blizzard77 wrote:
I've heard that Nancy Nord can do nothing--that any action must instead stem from Henry Waxman.

That is my understanding and I also posted to that effect, that Waxman's letter to Nord was disengenous and what to do about it. We can't presume our legislators know that Waxman is the hold up, anymore than they'd understand the law they signed. We must tell them to write Waxman and hold him accountable. He's trying to foist the whole thing off on Nord.
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Kiki Fluhr
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From this thread: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6017342

DelaneysDelights wrote:
I just called Henry Waxman's office I spoke to Matt Cameron he said Write a letter to him and fax it over to him. He said what you need to put in the latter is how this new law will effect you. How it will hurt your business and your financially. They are going in front of congress next week so they needs lots of letters. You also need to put your full contact information in the letter. So everyone start writing fax number 323-665-0502.
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Melanie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS Reply with quote

Aren't they all still in Washington? That fax number for Waxman is his California office...
I'm going to send a fax to him, but will send to the DC office too.
That number is 202-225-4099...
I'm also contacting all of my congressmen again (Oklahoma) and urging them to ask that this law be delayed, and then fixed...
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Trace
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Implementation of the law/Show me the money... Reply with quote

Not sure where this fits best in the thread structure… please move as you see fit. Do we have a worst-case scenario folder that I can bang my head against?

Anyway, I have a general question regarding the possible rollout and implementation (as the law currently stands)...

"The Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting the legislation would increase federal revenues from civil penalties by $43 million over the 2009-2018 period. CBO estimates the act would not affect direct spending." ... "H.R. 4040 would increase the maximum civil penalty for violations of consumer product safety standards and applicable rules under the Consumer Product Safety Act. CBO estimates that by raising the maximum penalty, the bill would increase revenues by $12 million over the 2009-2013 period and $43 million over the 2009-2018 period."

So it looks like the Federal Government has some plans to make money off of this new law (Full statement is here: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/96xx/doc9676/hr4040.pdf - see extract above), and I believe, based on wording in the law, that the CPSC is planning on having "at least" 500 full-time professional staff members by Oct 2013 that are responsible for inspection/enforcement as the law currently stands, right?

So, please tell me if I am reading the following extract correctly, as I'm starting to interpret this as a money-making opportunity for the state governments as well, with the CPSC reserving the right to get in on the lawsuits as it suits them.

Sec 218 here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c110:6:./temp/~c110Kxejeu:e2094:

Extract 2: "The attorney general of a State, or other authorized State officer, alleging a violation of a standard or rule promulgated under section 3 that affects or may affect such State or its residents, may bring an action on behalf of the residents of the State in any United States district court for the district in which the defendant is found or transacts business to obtain appropriate injunctive relief. The procedural requirements of section 24(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2073(b)) shall apply to any such action."

This would also lead to an expansion of the reporting structure for violations (I don't know about your state, but the Pennsylvania AG has a website with E-Z online complaint submission.)

So, has anyone contacted their state's AG to feel them out and find out if they are looking at this law as a cash cow as well? I'm rather afraid to give them the idea if they haven't tripped over it yet... but then again, it looks like that may have been the intended enforcement structure all along, since the CPSC's 500 people can only do so much.

I just have a bad feeling about the number of "authorized State officers" I might be tripping over once they realize how restrictive this law is as it currently stands, and how much money each state stands to make off of it.

Or am I just being alarmist and reading too much into this? I can't tell if the people I've been talking with are downplaying the impact of this law, playing a slow resistance game to see how much public pushback there really is, or just doing a "wait and see" to feel out how everyone else reacts first.
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Melanie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS Reply with quote

Trace...I completely agree with your assessment that this could be a way for the government to actually bring in some money...
I came to that same conclusion when I read the law, and saw the budget and the provision for hiring 500 inspectors...did you notice they can then issue a report, and detail if they need more?

With the current way our government is spending money faster than it's being printed...and the current thinking in Washington, that government needs to be bigger...I absolutely think this will be enforced...and for the reasons you stated...and when they do it, it will be with the headlines that they "are protecting our children from dangerous products!"...we'll never hear that a crafter was busted for selling a t-shirt that had an embroidered design...
At first, I seriously considered defying the law and selling anyway...until I read it and the enforcement provisions...then I changed my mind...I can't afford the fine and/or jail time...and having worked in the media, the headline would be as I described above...even though I didn't actually sell anything that had lead in it...We MUST get this thing stopped or changed...
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure where to move this to. I'd rather keep it focused on CPSIA: Activism and Congress. Eric (mr. fashion-incubator) had been banging on about the law being a source of income months ago and pulled up the same things you did. Don't make me look for that thread. Too tired.
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved

Beth C wrote:
I'm at work and I don't really have time to see where this is supposed to be posted, so please move it if you need to. I just got this in my email today and wondered if anyone else has gotten a response such as this?
Bill Nelson wrote:
Dear Ms. Wands:

Thank you for contacting me regarding concerns about the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the safety of consumer products -- especially those intended for infants and young children -- is one of my top priorities. Last year, I cosponsored the CPSIA because I believed the public had lost confidence in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC's) ability to protect consumers. The legislation contained a number of provisions intended to restore that confidence, including new safety standards, a substantial increase in funding for the CPSC, and a new CPSC laboratory testing facility.

However, I also understand your concern that the CPSC’s implementation of this law may have unintended consequences that negatively affect small manufacturers, retailers, and consignment shops. The CPSIA was drafted in a manner that provides substantial flexibility for the CPSC to deal with the concerns of small business entities and manufacturers of products that are "inherently safe." On January 16, 2009, the chair of both the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a joint letter to CPSC Acting Chair Nancy Nord requesting that she use the existing authority in the CPSIA to issue guidance on: 1) the applicability of testing requirements to children’s books and certain children’s apparel; 2) consignment store resellers of children’s products; 3) component part testing; and 4) testing guidance to small business entities. The letter further calls on Acting Chair Nord to issue guidance on these issues as soon as possible.

I share the concerns of the committee leadership, and will continue to work with the CPSC to ensure that they implement the CPSIA according to congressional intent, and in a manner that does not unduly penalize small business entities. Should you have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If you'd like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for them at http://billnelson.senate.gov/news/ebriefs.cfm

That's the letter. What do you all think?
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