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.”