The Senate has passed a procedural (cloture) motion to begin debate on the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act (S. 2663) by a vote of 86 (Y) to 1 (N). This motion required 60 affirmative votes to pass. You can view the Roll Call Vote here.
Some general provisions within the bill, originating from a Congressional Quarterly article published last month, are listed below:
- Funding: Authorize funding for seven years starting at $88.5 million in fiscal 2009 and increasing by 10 percent per year through 2015. For 2009 and 2010, an additional $40 million would be authorized to upgrade CPSC’s laboratories and $1 million to research the safety of nanotechnology in products;
- Quorum: Allow a two-member CPSC quorum to conduct official business for nine months. The commission currently lacks a required three-member quorum, so it cannot act on mandatory recalls. The bill would restore the commission to five members instead of three to minimize future quorum problems.
- Injunctive Relief: Allow state attorneys general to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of residents to enforce product safety laws.
- Criminal Penalties: Increase criminal penalties to five years in prison for those convicted of knowing, willful violations of product safety laws.
- Testing: Require third-party safety certification of children’s products. Mandate that toys be certified according to current toy safety standards developed by ASTM International, an independent standard-setting organization.
- Labeling: Require manufacturers to label children’s products with tracking information useful to consumers and retailers in identifying recalled products.
- Lead: Outlaw lead in all children’s products.
- Recalled Products: Make it unlawful for retailers to sell a recalled product.
- Rulemaking: Hasten the product safety rulemaking process by eliminating a mandatory “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.”
The Senate may now begin debating any amendments to the bill that have been approved by Senate leadership. They could remain on this bill for the next several days.