On October 4, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved Ann Marie Buerkle’s (R-NY) nomination to the position of Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after a two-day hearing. Acting Chairman Buerkle’s nomination to another seven-year term as a CPSC Commissioner, beginning October 27, 2018, was also approved in a narrow 14-13 vote along party lines.
As we recently reported, Acting Chairman Buerkle will likely lead a Republican-majority CPSC should the Senate approve President Trump’s nomination of Dana Baiocco to replace Democratic Commissioner Marietta Robinson. Buerkle currently serves as Acting Chairman of CPSC and has consistently advocated for decreased penalties. In lieu of penalties, she emphasizes a cooperative approach between CPSC and consumer products manufacturers and suppliers to address product safety issues with minimal regulation.
During her confirmation hearing, Acting Chairman Buerkle expressed the view that while Congress has directed mandatory rules for some products, CPSC should focus on pursuing a regime of voluntary standards. According to Acting Chairman Buerkle, voluntary standards will achieve “buy-in” from standards setting organizations, which has resulted in substantial compliance from consumer products providers in the past.
Buerkle’s nomination heads to the Senate, where she is expected to be confirmed.