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Aug 15 - Barrow Supports Bill to Alter Consumer Protection Regs Hurting Small Businesses

Category: National News

SBJ Staff Report

Aug 15, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to provide the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission with greater authority and discretion in enforcing the consumer product safety laws, according to Congressman John Barrow who supports the legislation. The measure passed the House with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 421 to 2.

The bill, H.R. 2715, was authored by Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Ranking Member G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) makes important and necessary modifications to the troubled Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Congress had good intentions when it passed the CPSIA in 2008, according to Barrow, but the law created a series of unintended consequences forcing small businesses to close their doors as a result of the law’s rigid restrictions and costly regulations, he believes.

The bill approved by the House “makes great strides toward cleaning up the regulatory mess created by the CPSIA, giving the Consumer Product Safety Commission the flexibility it needs to regulate based on risk. The bill’s changes aim to reduce the burden of the law while maintaining strong protections for children. The legislation includes provisions to ensure valuable store inventory is not wasted and to allow for the continued sale of used children’s items,” he states.

“For thousands of American businesses, which strive to be responsible, ‘let’s do what’s best for consumers,’ CPSIA has taken an inordinate amount of their time trying to understand how each new regulation and standard will affect them. Unfortunately, many have gone out of business, attributing their demise to the burdens of compliance,” said Bono Mack.

“Today, we are striking a very careful balance. As a nation, we simply cannot afford to lose jobs or stifle innovation because of questionable regulations. But we also have an obligation to make certain that our children’s toys remain safe. This bill is a win-win. It’s good for American consumers and American businesses. I thank Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Waxman and my counterpart, Mr. Butterfield, for their dedication to this issue, and I urge the Senate to pass this important and time-sensitive legislation.”

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