Sunday, November 15, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s win on Election Day will lead to a change within the composition of the U.S. Shopper Product Security Fee (CPSC). However, a change to majority Democrats for the five-person Fee is sophisticated, with a number of distinctive twists that might lead to a majority Republican Fee throughout Biden’s first time period.
President Trump nominated Nancy Beck for the Commissioner and Chairman slot in March 2020, however her nomination has stalled within the Senate. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced her opposition to Beck attributable to considerations over Beck’s dealing with of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFAS) points whereas on the Environmental Safety Company and Workplace of Administration and Finances. Senator Capito is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and her opposition brings the Committee vote at greatest to a tie, which implies the nomination can’t advance to the complete Senate.
As a Republican majority on the Fee could be assured till 2024 with Beck’s affirmation (barring any resignations), one would assume Senate Republican management would prioritize transferring Beck’s nomination in the course of the Lame Duck session. It stays to be seen whether or not Senator Capito will enable Beck’s nomination to advance to the Senate flooring. Even on the Senate flooring, Capito would nonetheless have the chance to vote in opposition to Beck. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) additionally introduced her opposition to Beck’s nomination. Beck isn’t anticipated to win any Democratic help and, with two already introduced Republican defectors, she couldn’t lose multiple extra Republican vote with the Republicans solely having a 51-48 benefit. (Vice President Pence might break a 50-50 tie.)
If Beck is confirmed, she would function CPSC chairman till January 20, 2021 when Biden takes the oath of workplace. At that time, the Fee will vote on a brand new appearing chair earlier than the president appoints a brand new chairman.
If Republicans are unsuccessful in confirming Beck, Biden would then nominate his personal chair to a seven-year time period and change the facility steadiness to 3-2 in favor of Democrats. Appearing Chair Adler has already mentioned that he has no need for one more full time period, which implies a brand new nominee and affirmation course of. CPSC watchers also needs to hold their eyes on October 2021 when Biden nominates a alternative for Democratic Commissioner Elliot Kaye, whose time period has expired and who should depart the Fee by then. A 3-2 Democratic-controlled Fee would possible enhance enforcement efforts and try to cross extra necessary security requirements.
Should you adopted all of that math and stayed with us, we need to depart you with one remaining notice on the Congressional entrance: We count on the Home to have a maintained curiosity in CPSC points and presumably try to revamp the Shopper Product Security Enchancment Act which was final up to date in 2008. Modifications might embrace modifications to the voluntary customary course of, elimination of 6(b) confidentiality protections for business and weakening the present deference to voluntary security requirements in favor of necessary requirements. Nonetheless, the probability of those modifications transferring with Senate Republican approval are very slim.
If the Republicans do safe a 3-2 majority on the Fee, look as an alternative for an elevated oversight give attention to Fee motion/inaction led by the Home Power & Commerce Shopper Safety Subcommittee Democrats.