Senate Votes for Tougher Product Safety
The U.S. Senate has voted to toughen product safety laws and increase the regulatory power of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in the wake of a number of high-profile cases in which defective and tainted products reached stores and consumers nationwide. HR 4040, titled "To establish consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children's products and to reauthorize and modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission," would increase CPSC budget and staff and create a publicly-accessible information base of consumer product complaints. The bill would also enable state attorneys general to take steps to guarantee product safety, independent from measures taken by the federal government. The New York Times reports that the bill "now heads to a conference committee to be reconciled with a more modest measure endorsed by the White House and major manufacturers that was unanimously passed in December by the House."