At a June 16, 2020 hearing, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation considered President Trump’s nomination of Nancy Beck to the CPSC.  In March, Trump announced his nomination of Dr. Beck to be Chairman and Commissioner of the CPSC.  The CPSC currently consists of two Republican appointees and two Democratic appointees with one of the Democratic appointees—Robert Adler—serving as Acting Chairman.  This month’s committee hearing included tough questions from Democrats and Republicans about how Dr. Beck would prevent unauthorized releases of confidential business information held by CPSC – a problem that has plagued the agency recently.  Dr. Beck was also quizzed about her prior experience as the Senior Director for Science Policy at the American Chemistry Council, which is a chemical industry lobbyist group.  Senate Democrats have expressed opposition to Dr. Beck’s confirmation as well as one Senate Republican on the committee – Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).  If every Democrat on the committee plus Senator Capito oppose the nomination, then the committee’s vote count is at a 13-13 tie, signaling that the nomination may not proceed to a full Senate floor vote.

This month the CPSC announced the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Midgett as its Consumer Ombudsman.  This new position serves a resource for consumers, consumer advocacy groups, victims, and other non-regulated stakeholders as they interact with the CPSC.  The Consumer Ombudsman will provide the agency’s perspective, explain the agency’s processes and procedures, and educate and advise consumers and consumer organizations.  This new position was created after the success of the agency’s Small Business Ombudsman, which has been in place since 2011, to help small businesses understand the agency and navigate product safety regulations.  For example, the Small Business Ombudsman established a resources page for small businesses which includes the Regulatory Robot, or a helpful online tool to guide a small business through CPSC’s product safety requirements.

Total Recalls: 16

Hazards:  Violation of Federal Standard (5); Fall (3); Fire/Burn/Shock (2); Crash (1); Tip-Over (1); Injury (1); Carbon Monoxide (1); Failure to Alert (1); Choke (1)