Burgess: Protecting Our Littlest Consumers
Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), M.D., yesterday voted to support the most sweeping product safety legislation since the inception of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1972. Burgess helped craft the original House bill and the version ratified yesterday contains two key provisions included at his urging. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.
"As a physician, parent, and policy maker, I understand we need to put politics aside to protect our children. We did that with this consumer product safety legislation and I'm proud to have played a role in shaping it," said Rep. Burgess.
The bipartisan bill boosts CPSC funding and personnel, bans lead in children's products, requires third-party product testing, and increases penalties for those who break the law. It also includes the Burgess amendments to increase awareness of recalled products among second-hand retailers and to require the CPSC to conduct a study, due nine months after the enactment, on its ability to prevent unsafe products from entering the country.
With imports skyrocketing, concerns about prohibiting dangerous and defective products from coming in the country are growing. Additional measures may be needed to address the influx.
"Americans can refuse packages that come to their homes or business. The federal government should be able to do the same with tainted, foreign goods," continued Burgess.
The 424-1 vote in the House sends the measure to the Senate, which could approve it this week. President George W. Bush is expected to sign it.