Friday, February 27, 2009

CPSIA – The Cancelled Hearings, What to Do

Having had a few hours to mull the cancellation of the hearings on CPSIA by the Subcommittee on Regulations and Healthcare of the House Committee on Small Business, I conclude that we need to flex our muscles if we want to stay in the game. This shameful display of partisan politics (lest we call it some form of “religious” zeal) is a real demonstration of the tyranny that confronts us. It’s all the more shocking that it took place at the supposedly non-partisan House Committee on Small Business – they should be EMBARRASSED (shamed, really). To me, it’s impossible to deny that our voices are being INTENTIONALLY kept off the record, and worse still, powerful people are attempting to undermine YOU with slander and marginalization. We CANNOT allow this to go on.

What we need to do is to start calling the offices of the Small Business Committee (202-225-4038, ask for Erik Lieberman and leave a message if necessary on his voicemail) to inquire about why the hearings on the CPSIA were cancelled. We should tell them that the law is killing our small businesses, that we cannot comply with it, that it’s too complex and unrelated to safety risks and needs to be changed. Tell them that this is not all about crafters and dirt bikes – it’s about American small businesses trying to survive in a Depression! The hearings were essential to air out these issues. Ask for a response.

You should feel free to call more than once. Start with a call on Friday, and then call again next week. Get an answer. Make them listen to you. It turns out that you matter!

You may also call other members of this Committee to express your dismay. You can see the committee list at http://www.house.gov/smbiz/democrats/members.htm. If you happen to live in the district of one of the members of the Committee or better yet, one of the Subcommittee members (http://www.house.gov/smbiz/democrats/subcommittees.htm), please scream even louder. We need to be heard, REALLY HEARD.

You should get everyone at your company, everyone in your family, all your friends, customers, suppliers, neighbors, fraternity brothers, your minister and the guy who sells you stamps at the Post Office, to call about this issue. We need to BURN their phone lines over the CPSIA.

We got this far by demanding to be heard, as a group. It’s time to turn on the jets and go harder now. Go get ‘em, let them hear your voice!!!

Rick

17 comments:

Wacky Hermit said...

I know it seems like a lot of phone time, but it took me just 15 minutes to call the entire Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
http://tinyurl.com/dbvwqb

Please, "mommies" and others whose time if we're lucky comes in one-minute increments, click through and get the information you'll need to help!

Jen said...

Rick, have you or anyone else seen the analysis of the burden on small companies of the new law? It should be part of the CPSC rulemaking section. A friend of mine on the Hill is telling me that we can ask for their data under the Freedom of Information Act.

Lora said...

Rick, your request for Pennsylvanian's to "please contact Carter Keithley or Ed Desmond at the TIA" went south before I even hit "send" from my outlook email.

I suppose I will still send the email just in case there is future opportunity.

Sheesh!

Lisa said...

Done! Also, cpsia-central is asking everyone to email Glenn Beck at Fox News to do a story about it. The show manager claimed there wasn't enough outrage about the issue to warrant a story, so we have to email them to put the point across. Email is me@glennbeck.com

Suzi said...

I emailed Congressman Thompson's legislative director yesterday and today he said that they have brought this up to be heard, but there is hesitation on the majority side of things. (they who created the law and control the agenda... no conflict of interest there...)

They're also making moves to have this brought before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. If that happens Congressman Thompson and some others will voice their concern over the lack of a hearing and hopefully they'll finally have one.

Want to know how I got the legislative director's email address (and ear)?

I personally met with Congressman Thompson last week and he was also in the meeting. I urge anyone reading this who cares about the CPSIA to do the same. Make an appointment, don't let them tell you they're too busy. It was the most valuable 15 minutes I've spent fighting this bill. He heard me, and he is acting. If the members of congress have more face time with people like us, (yes, even some of us mommies!) than we'll be harder to dismiss or throw away. (as go so many emails, letters and faxes)

l said...

I hear ya, Suzi!

I am in the unfortunate predicament of a having a willing Congressman (Joe Pitts - cosponsor H.R. 968). He is not on the committee, so...

And that leaves me calling members of congress that don't give a capital hill of beans what I think.

Tristan Benz - Maiden America - www.maidenus.com said...

Rick - FINALLY - MUSIC TO MY EARS!!! This is SO much bigger than any of our businesses - it cuts at our core rights, as citizens, to shape OUR government on behalf of OUR children and their future in this great nation.

SHAME on our politicians. I have been calling for all of us to use the power of the people. I have emailed Glenn Beck about our efforts and my blog posts for months now. If ever there were an issue BUILT for him to cover, it is this - one that undermines the values of THRIFT (thrift stores) and PARENTS AS ULTIMATE AUTHORITY and OUR AMERICAN DUTY TO SPEAK OUT and ensure OUR COUNTRY remains in OUR keeping, etc. - basically, all the values he's celebrating.

This is incredibly TIMELY - this shift to WE the PEOPLE. Please feel free to stop by my blog to see recent posts - call to action - that inspire parents / citizens on this front. The current post is funny but the previous two are definitely not. And one that drew quite a bit of traffic is called "Darkest it is before the dawn - Beyond CPSIA."

http://www.tristansepinion.blogspot.com

THANK YOU - I am thrilled to see actions that have the potential to serve a real point of solidarity in America! Power to WE the PEOPLE!

Warmest Regards,
Tristan Benz
Maiden America

Blue Wings said...

That is a downright shame. It's almost as if they're attempting to humor us to shut us up and continue on their merry ways. Hopefully enough of us will be ticked enough to "bother" them with our questions and concerns - since it does in fact concern us greatly. Thank you for sharing. I've posted your entry on my blog - http://www.bluewingsshop.blogspot.com

Katie Hines said...

Thanks for the post. I'll be calling...and calling...and calling.

Wenonah4th said...

What should someone who a, does not run a business, and b, is nervous on the telephone, say on the phone? I'd like to, but I don't know what to say!

Rick Woldenberg, Chairman - Learning Resources Inc. said...

Wenonah4th, you can certainly help out with a phone call. Remember, this is YOUR government, too. They need to hear your voice. You can express your concern over the plight of small businesses and the availability of children's products you NEED if small businesses are seriously weakened in this terible economy. There are issues that need to be aired out in a public hearing. What is the Committee on Small Business doing by CANCELLING a hearing on these important issues? They need to answer your question because you MATTER. It's time to take back our government, people!

Rick

Wenonah4th said...

Yesterday I did send an email to my congresional representative (Robert Andrews) because I found that only constituents from Waxman's district are permitted to send him an email. I told Andrews that I thought it cowardly on Waxman's part to have cancelled the hearing and asked Andrews to push for holding one.
So it's not that I'm not doing anything- it's that I'm not knowing what to do next!

Rick Woldenberg, Chairman - Learning Resources Inc. said...

Wenonah4th, you are doing great. Keep it going. If you want to write a wider audience, I post the email addresses I use to communicate with Congress in my Blog. Robin Appleberry is Waxman's staff liason for the CPSIA. Christian Fjeld is her counterpart on Rush's staff. I am sure they would be delighted to hear from you by phone or by email.

Rick

Avram said...

Were the hearings cancelled or postponed? I heard they were re-scheduled for next week (March 5th?), but perhaps that's mis-info..?

Avram said...

Hi Winona4th - Don't worry about being nervous on the phone, you're doing a great job just by making the call. Ask a question or two - you don't need to give a speech. Thanks for participating!

TBD Quilling said...

We emailed glen beck and here is a copy of our email. Feel free to use the statistics we used

We've written quite a few emails and letters about the potential loss of so many businesses. Businesses that we believe America can't afford to lose.

We got an email from CPSIA-Centeral

A message to all members of cpsia-central

I just got off the phone with my college buddy that works very closely with the Glenn Beck Show. I have been sending him regular emails about the CPSIA hoping they will cover it. I asked him today why there has been no additional coverage. I reminded him of the thrift stores, of the ATV situation, of the inability to donate, of thousands of companies going out of business, etc. He said there has been no public outcry...and acknowledged that my next point will be that there has been no outcry because no one knows.

In any case, the Glenn Beck Show seemingly needs to see some outcry. So, I am asking each of you to please send an email to:

me@glennbeck.com (the Glenn Beck general email address)

Express your outrage at any or all aspects of the CPSIA. Tell them it is a broken law that doesn’t make us safer and is killing business and sending businesses and jobs to China. Tell them you want the story covered, as it is an important aspect of the economic story, and product safety story, both of which haven’t been properly covered.

Please forward to your friends and colleagues. I wan them inundated.

I will follow-up with my buddy in a few days and if he still thinks there is no outrage.

Thanks,

Rob Wilson

Visit cpsia-central at: http://cpsia-central.ning.com

Here is the letter we wrote to Glenn Beck. Feel free to use any of the stats we quoted:

Dear Mr. Beck,

My husband and I listen to you everyday (both on the radio and TV). Of all those we listen to you are one of the few radio show hosts I enjoy the most but I am very disappointed in you. You are failing America by not educating people about the very flawed CPSIA law.

Please get out in front of this story. Don't play follow-up like the mainstream media does.

Although our business isn't yet effected by the badly crafted law we join out voice with the thousand of others who are effected because if this law is allowed to stand as it is eventually it will destroy us too.

For someone who is worried about the jobs lost and the coming depression I find it strange you are not saying anything about this horrible legislation. It's no longer Republican vs Democrats in this country, it's the haves and the have nots and we are drowning out here.

This one law will do more harm to American small business and our children's future then all the lead filled products coming out of China. I'm proud of the fact that America's children are able to play with safe toys that are not mass produced and help stimulate our kids imaginations and their ability to think. This is what makes our country great, our ability to think outside the box and to solve problems by looking at them from a different perspective.

We have survived the outsourcing of our jobs, the poisoning of our pets and people by Chinese made goods but I can assure you we won't survive this law. I'm not just sending letters to you, I'm sending them to everyone and I'll see who cares about American small businesses and our children. I'd love it if you would cover the story first. Speak up for those of us who have no voice. This is a great economic and product safety story that hasn't been properly covered by the mainstream media. I hope you are able to educate people about this issue so that your grandchildren will know the joy of playing with a USA made educational toy made with safe ingredients and parts by home businesses which along with other small businesses :

Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
Employ about half of all private sector employees.
Pay nearly 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
Create more than half of non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists,engineers, and computer workers).
Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 28.9 percent of the known export value in FY 2006.
Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census

If anyone is too big to fail, it's the thousands of small Mom & Pop operations in this country who are being murdered by their own government using their tax dollars.

Think of how it will effect the country when they lose our tax dollars and our spending capital?

Sincerely,

Charli said...

Are any of these guys on twitter. Maybe we can slam them on the public sites too.