Response from Sen Harkin about CPSIA

I will say, this is the first time Harkin has ever done anything that I found to be non irritating. The man has actually gone UP a notch in my book.

Note, he thinks my concerns are bogus. He says the same thing that many Congressmen have said – there’s an exemption for one of a kind items. (There isn’t.) But he does seem to have read my letter. AND his response is focused and he resists the temptation to blather on about the wonderful things he’ll do with my tax money this year. (Though I didn’t ask for a blanket small business exemption, and his letter implies I did.)

Mrs. Sarah Reid
Des Moines, IA xxxx

Dear Sarah:

	Thank you for contacting me.  I am always glad to hear from you.

	I appreciate hearing your comments regarding the Consumer Product Safety
Improvement Act (CPSIA). I was a proud co-sponsor of this legislation.
This past year, Iowa's families were frightened by story after story of
dangerous products that had to be recalled. There were 472 product recalls
last year alone. From pet food to kitchen appliances, consumers were often
left wondering whether the products they were using everyday were safe.
One of the most upsetting occurrences was the news of toxic toys that
contained hazardous lead paint. More than 20 million toys were recalled
last year due to lead paint.

	As you know, in order to better protect consumers, Congress passed the
CPSIA to provide new safety and accountability standards for manufactured
goods. It also authorized a much needed infusion of resources to the
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal agency responsible
for protecting American consumers. Recent recalls have made it painfully
clear that the CPSC is grossly underfunded and understaffed. The bill we
passed will ensure the CPSC can beef up its staff and provide the
oversight Americans expect.

	One important safety provision included in the bill is the requirement of
third-party testing and certification for children's products. I believe
this is a crucial provision. It is vital that Americans know the products
they are purchasing, especially for their children, are safe. I also
recognize that this testing process may create a burden for small
manufacturers. For that reason, I am pleased the law provides an exemption
for crafters who only make one copy of each item. Furthermore, I
understand the Commission is examining an additional exemption for
products made from untreated wood or natural fibers. I am also hopeful
that as more testing companies are founded, the costs of meeting the law's
requirements will come down.
	I do not, however, favor a blanket exemption for all small businesses.
Many recalls in the past have come from small manufacturers, and it is
imperative that parents know that a product does not contain lead, no
matter who manufactured it. While I am extremely sympathetic that this
requirement may be a significant burden for many small businesses, I
believe our children's health and safety must come first and testing is a
necessary safeguard.

	Again, thanks for sharing your views with me.  Please don't hesitate to
let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.


					Tom Harkin
					United States Senator

About sarahtar

Our Family lives in central Iowa. We are Christians, conservatives, and crunchy granola heads. We love the outdoors, photography, and lindy hop. Turn ons are people who are polite, honesty, and really good root beer. Turn offs are mean people and people who make my life more difficult.

Posted on January 14, 2009, in Regulation. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Bleh. How do they expect us to understand it if they don’t? They wrote and signed the darn thing.

    fyi: his letter isn’t wrapping in my window. I’m running latest version of firefox.

  2. I got the same letter. Exact to the word about CPSIA…. Form letter??? I got it today too.

  3. Yup, form letter.
    Sucks on the one of a kind thing. You could totally manipulate that loophole to keep in business.

  4. I got the same one too. But he did send a response. No one else did.

  5. Grassley will take a bit longer, for some reason, any time I’ve written BOTH senators at the same time, Grassley’s response arrives a week or so later than Harkin’s. Boswell’s arrived almost immediately, but it didn’t even mention the CPSIA, just referred to “your concern,” so I’m guessing his office staff has a standard letter they send to people to get them to shut up and go away.

    I actually got a letter from Grassley about a week before Harkin’s email, but I sent Grassley an email about two days before Harkin, and then I followed both up with a letter/package. I’m guessing this round of letters is from my emails, and am wondering if I’ll get the same response to the word in response to my letter/packages, or if their staff is sharper than that.

  6. I have had phone calls from Grassley and Latham’s staff, but not much luck. grassley’s staffer said if I send a letter and sign it she will make sure it is passed on to the senator’s desk. We will see.

  7. Definitely form. I got this one too. Good to know he has a generic small business women bugging him about CPSIA letter.

    More @

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