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Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS
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happymom4
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Letter from Congress-woman Ginny Brown-Waite Reply with quote

A friend of mine from FL passed this letter to her along, and gave me permission to post it on here minus her name. It has been edited per my friend's request.

********** wrote:
Date: Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM
Subject: Responding to your message
To: *********@gmail.com

Dear **********:

Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. I appreciate the time you took to contact my office on this important issue and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Over 45 million products were recalled in 2007 due to harmful effects on children. This prompted Congress to act quickly and respond to the public demand that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) undergo a vast modernization. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that Congress crafted legislation hastily and didn't allow ample time for Members to read and offer their insight on it. The bill was signed into law on August 14, 2008, and the provisions are scheduled to take effect February 10, 2009.

The compromise between the House and Senate, also known as the Conference Report, laid out provisions that require testing for products and toys aimed at children under the age of 12 for lead and phthalates. Any products still containing banned amounts of these chemicals will be considered hazardous materials, and any business selling them could be punished with a monetary fine.

Sellers of used products, such as thrift stores, are not required to test products, nor certify that they meet the new lead limits or phthalates standards. If you work in an organization or business that sells goods that have a high rate of recall, such as cribs, or a high lead content, such as metal toys, I encourage you to check the CSPC Web site at www.cpsc.gov frequently for safety concerns. This will ensure that you are in compliance with the safety standards implemented in the new law.

I have attached the most recent press release from the CPSC, and I encourage you to check its Web site frequently for updates. Even as I write this, the CPSC is continuously interpreting the law and making exceptions for certain products. I was not in Washington D.C. when the final bill was passed and signed into law, as I was with my husband in Florida while he battled pancreatic cancer. I hope that the Democrat Majority will hold hearings on this law before allowing the CPSC regulations to become final. Small business issues are incredibly important to me, and I will do everything I can to represent your concerns.

Throughout my tenure in public service, I have always kept an open door and an open dialogue with my constituents. As Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and views with me. Accordingly, I encourage you to visit my Web site at http://brown-waite.house.gov to email me and find useful information about our 5th Congressional District.

It is my honor and privilege to serve the people of Florida's 5th Congressional District and my offices and staff are here to provide you with any assistance you may need.

Sincerely,
Ginny Brown-Waite
Member of Congress
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Kathleen F.
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Posts: 10946
Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was sent to me via email. It'd be great if you could follow through:

Denise wrote:
Kathleen,

I just saw Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Fox News, he is live from DC talking about how he and the GOP reps are meeting regarding their solutions for how to boost the economy to present to Obama ASAP. Here’s the funny thing….the according to Rep. McCarthy; the GOP has come up with the best solution as ‘spend money to invest in small business and create jobs’. I promptly called his DC office and no, I am not a California constituent, and told his aide I felt his comments were complete hypocrisy considering the man voted (as did all reps unless it was a ‘not present) in favor of the CPSIA which KILLS small business. I then told her I felt like this ‘revelation’ was a slap in the face to small businesses like artisans and crafters, thrifts etc trying to pay bills etc; like we were insignificant in the whole small business equation. I was answered with stuttering and the admission she didn’t know much about CPSIA but then stammered out something about thrifts being exempt now to which I said’ NOT GOOD ENOUGH. This also effects the suppliers we buy from to make our items; they are small businesses that will suffer as well. I also told her to brace for more phone calls. Rep. McCarthy is the GOP Deputy Whip and appears to be leading this meeting…he needs some calls ASAP. 202-225-2915 McCarthy DC office.
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Marian Thompson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject: Kevin McCarty- Fox Interview Reply with quote

I went over to the Fox website to see if I could catch the video-
http://www.foxbusiness.com/video/index.html of Kevin McCarty on today. Anyone know how long it takes to be viewable from site? Just thought it would be helpful if I could watch, before I call!
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Melanie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS Reply with quote

I just called Rep. McCarthy's office...you could tell the poor guy answering the phone has already been taking tons of calls...but I did get the pleasure of informing him about the retroactive ruling and how much damage this does...he was downplaying the whole law, and the CPSC enforcement of the law. So I told him that's not the opinion of Cheryl Falvey...gave him the link, he called it up on his computer...I told him to read her advisory opinions, and letters that are posted there...that they FULLY intend to enforce this law.

Keep calling everyone...it's getting hot in Washington!
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kstuffings
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: McCarty Reply with quote

I just called. I doubt if that made any difference since I do not live in his state. Does anyone have a public email for him? I think the web site will direct me to my own state's Rep when I try to email.

Kelly
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Kathleen F.
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Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!
unnamed source wrote:

January 13, 2009

Briefing for Congressional Staff on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Dear Colleague:

Confusion has arisen recently regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Due to inaccurate reporting, some congressional offices have received phone calls from concerned constituents who believe they may be adversely impacted by the new law. For instance, some thrift store operators believe they may be forced to stop operating because of the new law. This belief, among others, does not reflect the actual requirements of the law.

In order to clear up confusion and allow you to share concerns raised by your constituents, we invite your staff to a briefing on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and its implementation.

At 2:00 p.m., on Friday, January 16, 2009, in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, staff from the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce will discuss current issues in implementation of the law.

If you have any questions about this briefing, please contact Valerie Baron of the Subcommittee staff at 225-2927.

Sincerely,

Henry A. Waxman
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce

Bobby L. Rush
Chairman
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection
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Wacky Hermit
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really hope somebody will point out to Rush and Waxman that the "inaccurate reporting" is coming from the CPSC and from the law they wrote. If they didn't mean it that way, why did they write it that way? And if they meant for the CPSC to interpret it differently, why haven't they given them any guidance on it until possibly now? Once Rush and Waxman are done telling us the "actual requirements," will they then tell the CPSC exactly what they told us, or will they tell the CPSC something different?

Also if anyone can find out how the mail-in protest to Rep. Rush's office has gone, I'd *really* like to know. I have this smug little vision of him having to find his desk under a pile of packages while his secretary chews him out for having brought upon her the task of finding places to regift all of the beautiful handmade things.
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Kiki Fluhr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This belief, among others, does not reflect the actual requirements of the law.


WTH?![/code]
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Melanie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS Reply with quote

Wow! is right! Geez! I believe I'll call all of my congressmen's offices again next week, and tell them my thoughts...again...and if they refer to the "meeting", I will be happy to enlighten them as to where the misinformation is coming from...
The other thing that really gets me, and I've seen it posted more than once (and it happened to me today with the McCarthy staffer) is how they are downplaying this, and basically telling you when you call, that "the law doesn't mean that...and it won't be enforced like that". Are they really tellling us that Congress just passes laws now, so they look good, but they're not going to enforce them? And we can ignore them if we don't like the new laws? That's another point I plan to bring up with my Senators and Representative...how dare they downplay a law, that we the people seem to know more about than they do! There have been at least 2 staffers that I've educated about the retroactive ruling by Falvey...ummmm....shouldn't THEY know about that? It's insanity...only way to describe it!
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Kathleen F.
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Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regard to the meeting notice I posted. Apparently this is an in-house meeting only, congressionals and staffers and not open to the public.

Still, that can say a lot. A strategy meeting on holding the party line? Everybody seems to be fairly happy with responses with their congressmen (if they get them) but I'm not getting good news from higher ups. Quite the opposite.

The worrisome thing is that they'll attempt to splinter the protests by shutting down dissent from the little guys by feeding them some kind of exemption which means it'll die down and the big guys will get thrown under the bus. It might make indie crafters happy in the short term but it will serve no one's interests long term. Just one reason I've been opposed to this small vs large rhetoric from day one.
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Melanie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:56 pm    Post subject: Activism CPSIA: CONGRESS Reply with quote

Kathleen,
I agree on your theory...they ARE feeling heat, but I don't think they really want to do anything about it...or at least not right now...so they'll try to come up with something to divide our ranks, and continue the misinformation...
I AM a small crafter, but I'm not buying it...and frankly, I don't really care what the congress says right now, short of making actual amendments to the law...I will only listen to what the CPSC PRINTS as policy, since they seem to have the power right now, and they are taking it and running with it as fast as they can! And I further think later on, if changes aren't made, they WILL go after the little guys too...and when they do, the crafters who get caught won't be able to go into court and say the CPSC said they didn't have to comply...even if it's true, it won't hold up for a defense...and they'll be responsible for the fines. I'm not letting up...I don't think any businesses, big or small, should be thrown under the bus, or forced to pay for expensive and/or unnessary testing...which will then cause those businesses to see lost profit, and we'll all see higher consumer prices, and lost jobs.
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Vicki P
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Joined: 05 Dec 2007
Posts: 185
Location: WA Richland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My MIL spoke with Jay Inslee in person this past weekend at some democratic event. She is very active in politics and was point blank. She asked him what he plans to do about this legislation that is destroying the "American Dream" of so many.
He said the the law is in place because so many parents upset about the lead and it had to be done. She then asked him what he has to say about all the businesses that can't afford the testing.
He gave her his assistants phone number and told her to have me call. I did. I was put through to voice mail.
Lip service. They don't want to get into this issue because they don't understand.
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Wacky Hermit
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I know what I'll be asking tomorrow morning when I call my Senators' and Representative's offices: Will you be sending a staffer to that meeting? And if so, when I call again on Monday, can I be put through to them to get a briefing?
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forwarded by unnamed party, a letter from Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.) to Nancy Nord, Chair of the CPSC

Gus M. Bilirakis wrote:
January 6, 2009

Ms. Nancy Nord
Chair, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814

Dear Chairman Nord:

I am writing to share my concerns about implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (Public Law 110-134).

Congress overwhelmingly passed this law last year to protect children from harmful exposure to products containing lead and other dangerous chemicals. I am concerned, however, that this well-intentioned law may have unintended consequences that could negatively impact an important sector of my district and our economy, such as consignment shops, thrift stores, and retailers that provide gently-used clothes, toys, and other products to those in need.

I have heard from retailers in my district who are greatly concerned that they will be forced to stop providing such products on February 10, 2009, because they lack clear and consistent guidance on how to meet the law’s mandates for certifying that their products meet the new limits for lead content in children’s products provided under Section 101 of the law. These constituents have indicated that they may be forced out of business because of their inability to comply with the law’s third party testing requirements. Their pleas for assistance are compelling, especially from those that sell children’s clothes that are unlikely to exceed the law’s new thresholds.

I strongly encourage the Commission to consider the ramifications of this law’s implementation in this area and determine whether you can provide relief to these businesses that will both protect children from dangerous products and ensure the continued survival of retailers that provide much-needed products for deserving children and their families, especially in difficult economic times such as these.

I would very much appreciate being informed of any action the Commission plans to take in this regard. Please contact my legislative counsel, Elizabeth Hittos, at (202) 225-5755 if you have any questions about this matter.

Sincerely,

Gus M. Bilirakis
Member of Congress
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monday is a holiday. Washington will be shut down on Tuesday for the Inauguration. You won't be able to get a phone answered in DC until Wednesday.
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