Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CPSIA - The Latest Gossip

1. The CPSC issued a recall for 50 million blinds. This is one of the five largest recalls in U.S. history. More on this later.

2. The Waxman amendment has not been circulated to the House Rules Committee yet. This delay is supposedly related to last minute maneuvering among the Democrats and possible wording changes. Speculation is that Mr. Waxman may offer a few words, but no new concepts. Republicans remain on the outside involuntarily. In fact, even Senate Democrats are claiming to be marginalized by a process in which they were supposedly presented with a take-it-or-leave-it amendment on an hour's notice by the Waxmanites. Apparently, Senate Democrats represent too much of a risk for Mr. Waxman and his "no discussion" motif for legislation. It's all about control, not safety. I imagine Mr. Waxman was NO FUN in the sandbox as a kid . . . .

3. There is an interesting procedural sidelight to this amendment. The House has a rule prohibiting authorizing legislation on an appropriations bill. This rule can be waived, of course. The House Rules Committee apparently waives it (as a point of order) before the appropriations bill hits the floor for debate. [If you are asking yourself what the purpose of the rule is if it is waived as a matter of course, PLEASE try to maintain decorum out there. Mumbling to yourself is unbecoming!] The Senate has different procedural rules - it's a bit more of a free-for-all. Rumorville has it that one miffed Senator is threatening to invoke a point of order against this appropriations amendment for being legislation. Will it happen? Perhaps. It also may be some form of negotiating ploy for different language. Will risk assessment rise from the dead? Don't bank on it (you fat cat bankers!).

4. The Stay will be voted on by the Commission as early as tomorrow. What will they decide to do? Silence . . . . Again, rumors circulate that they will lift the Stay for certain products and certain rules,and continue it for others. The dimensions of what they will do is just not known. Your letters and emails have been read - but do they care? I guess we'll see . . . soon.

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