Thursday, March 3, 2011

CPSIA - Perhaps Mark Pryor is Detrimental to the American Public

I have resolved to "out" the politicians who stand between federal law and rationality when it comes to the CPSIA. We endured two years of torture at the hands of Henry Waxman in the House, who spent 18 months denying that anything was wrong with the CPSIA - and then tried to put through an amendment to his liking in the dead of night. I exposed that deceptive effort, but it didn't change much in Mr. Waxman's approach.

Now, post-2010 midterm elections, the winds have shifted and there is much more recognition that the CPSIA is deeply flawed. The House is controlled by Republicans who have long recognized and admitted that the law needed to be changed in important ways to save jobs (without sacrificing "safety"). Unfortunately, certain members of the Senate remains wedded to the Waxman script and seem committed to fall on the sword to protect each precious word of that defective and fundamentally flawed law. As they rise up to stand in the way of progress and rationality, I commit to YOU that I will out them in this space.

One person who is already raising his profile to protect this law is Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. I am told he has a copy of the signed CPSIA framed in his office (I haven't seen it personally, I admit) so presumably he is very proud of "his" law. It's a shame he hasn't been listening since he cast his vote in 2008. In today's USAToday, Mr. Pryor opines that de-funding the CPSIA database would be "detrimental to the American public".

Why does Mr. Pryor think this? "Private consumer complaint websites tend to focus more on performance issues, which is why 'one central place where consumers can go to find accurate information' about safety is needed, says Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., who is pushing to keep the funding in place for the database." [Emphasis added]

Perhaps a place with accurate information about consumer product incidents is "needed" but is the CPSIA database such a thing? Why, precisely, does Mr. Pryor thinks the database information will be "accurate"? After all, we know that Inez Tenenbaum admitted in Congressional testimony that the agency will likely post inaccurate or misleading information. Remember, "that's what the rub is". We also know that the General Counsel of the CPSC says that the database will not be trustworthy, featuring "complaints" without shedding light on "causation". Remember, the General Counsel touts the disclaimers all over the website, which she is considering AMPLIFYING. In other words, she admits/acknowledges/trumpets that the information may not be true and can't be relied upon. In other words, it's not accurate.

Senator Pryor, are you listening?

I am sure the answer is "no". Expect more of this from Mr. Pryor. According to Wikipedia, he is quoted in the movie "Religulous" saying "You don't need to pass an IQ test to be in the senate".

No argument here.

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