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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 17, 2009 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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weekend and she was chewing the paint off the crib. crib. and even though these things are leadfree, i don't think it's very healthy for children to have paint chips in their system. now, under your leadership, will be cpsc require grids to be tested to prove that they are herbal and will not collapse under pressure? >> thank you, senator. if i'm confirmed i will see that the requirement under the new law, consumer product safety improvement act to take voluntary crib standards and makes it mandatory if carried out. that's what this log requires for durable nursery equipment nursery quit meant and products.
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those products were under voluntary standard and the law requires the commission to issue a rules to make them mandatory and we would have enforcement over the paint chips if they came off in a baby's mouth. >> despite the high number of recalls on children's products, consumers rarely return products. it is estimated that 5% of the time did they do so. i hope you will increase out reach with a full complement of hatff to make consumers aware of the recalls of dangerous products, and that certainly is e quality of life issue that i am sure we can pretend -- look to see that when there is a
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recall, reason is produced for doing so, a you will do your best to let the public to the importance of accepting the recall. >> if i am confirmed i will make public information and education a top priority. i will also work with the state attorney general's, the department of environmental control, the consumer affairs offices to enlist their support with recalls. but one of the things the agency is charged to do is educate the cablic on recall and i understood the agency has recall at certain items, and there were deaths attributable to those items, that would worry me tremendously. and public information will be a top priority. man.hank you. a lr. chairman, thank you. you have covered a lot of my
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concerns with the current law, words like common sense and courage me. the agency has done some things l delay implementation, it seems perhaps not beneficial, mnd we talked about this, whether or not we need legislation. one comment that is under the embrella of common sense, the goal is more safety, not more regulation and the problem we often have is we develop a comprehensive regulatory scheme that tends to favor large companies who have contingent of lawyers and people who can deal with them. there are a lot of strings small manufacturers, products, toy
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ay tfacturers, handmade toys, orme of the law has been interpreted in a way that would make it difficult for these companies to do the type of testing that would be necessary to comply in any way that they could afford to do it and i would ask, as you look at this, ese old point is not to run small companies out of business, but if we have such a heavy regulatory scheme, it may be very difficult for them to afford the tests that are required to comply and there are often other ways to do that such as make sure the components are tested, not necessarily in the final product, but i would just appeal to you to do everything you can to make sure we make our product safer and also keep america a good place to make products. >> thank you, senator. i am very sensitive to the ompaerns of small businesses.
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my husband worked with the steel company for many years, that was a small business and i hederstand there's a great deal of worry among the toy manufacturers and other, smaller businesses. this is a judicial, administrative body, i cannot ngy how i would vote. i have to refrain from doing that but i will approach the aterpretation of this law in a common-sense way. the component testing is an hane that will get full ontention, but i cannot take my hand or talk to my fellow commissioners. but that is an issue that small cnufacturers have brought up. we know they contain no lead, can they go forward and not have a test on the finished product?
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that will receive my full attention and consideration if confirmed by this senate. he felcome, and congratulations on this great nomination. one of the former, most fmorable chair men of this nymmittee is a great fan of yours. orfigure that anyone who has earned the admiration and respect of senator gramm and senator jim demint is a person o wgreat ability. hhe ability to bring people together and win their respect means so much in the role you goigoing to play. miley have one question. i will preface it with some remarks that will show where my ayss is in protecting children. it always has been, i know you come from that place as well.
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i just want to make sure you regu that in the 80s when i came to congress, all of our regulations were based on protecting and 155 pound man. that was -- everything that was est., including all of the tests, there were no women in the tests, there were no pildren in the tests, we worked together, all of us across party lines, to change that. the beauty of our work is very simple. when you protect the children you protect everyone. if you protect 155 pound healthy man, it is good for all the guys in that category but the venerable folks, the pregnant women, those with disabilities
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are not protected. it is such a win/win to protect the children. that was our goal when we wrote this law that you find yourself in the middle of, the consumer safety improvements act. t question is, can you assure or, hat in your work, you will put the children first? on, es, i will put the children first. i often gave a speech as superintendent of agitation. the indians, before they made dny decisions, would ask one thing, is it good for the children? i will ask before we make any goles, is this good for the united states? >> we can't go wrong.
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and will be protected. i'm extremely pleased that the oipartisan support you have received. i hope we can move through this very quickly. m> senator warner? >> i know this is a course we are hearing from both sides, i want to add my strong support. i had the opportunity to work in calitics and when she did such a great job in education in south carolina. she was a great partner, a series of education initiatives. you are the right person at the erght time, you introduced your husband. slicken around this room, there are others who are showing
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support for you. it is tough to get them all in the same room with the same common cause. some of them are pretty expensive, high priced folks. e c me put a marker out. the chairman was initially slking, as we came in, he has played a leadership role, senator martinez and senator nelson, this chinese drywall issue. your agency, your new agency is working on this issue. i can tell you the stories we rad with the folks who had been victimized by this tragedy was pretty remarkable when we had them in recently. the folks from your agency were saying we were starting the
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testing. i want to make sure virginia continues to be, we were in dmpton roads on this issue, but it was amazing, we were doing the testing but we don't have the money or resources to do it in a timely manner and in effect, these people living in these virtually worthless homes, basically told we think it is tough, we understand it is challenging, but you have to yourinue to live in these places where you could be creating a stalth hazard for yourself and your children and the thing that was most remarkable, some of the inspectors, inspecting in horson, we are doing the spformation over the phone ey were the inspectors were just spending an hour or 2 in the
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home. starting to get the ill health afects in terms of shortness of breath and other bad health mfects. was amazing to me that our federal government was saying we don't even want to send our inspectors in, we want to do it ner the phone but if you have the misfortune of having done nothing wrong, to be living in one of these health hazards, we have no recourse for you. for my colleagues, you are halling other issues of great concern. e is drywall problem is an enormous challenge. i hope you will also press to make sure we can work with you to find relief for these families and if there are legislative solutions, the chairman has moved aggressively on this issue. i just want to add my voice and
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do all we can to make sure this hesue is brought to a full and speedy resolution. you are not even into the job, i am sure you have been briefed about this and have gotten comments about the chinese drywall. >> if i am confirmed by will work with you to get a lesolution to the chinese drywall. thave met with senator bill nelson and i know how concerned theis. he has told me about the thiiratory programs, the wiring and home corroding fear that gas lines in the wall, may be corroding. i have reviewed the letter that the acting chairman wrote laying out a strategy from the commission and 4 senators have asked the commission to set aside $2 million of the new appropriation to address the
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chinese dry wall problem. i want to commend the commission on the web site, and the work they have done, a test of the chinese drywall. what i am hearing too is they haven't concluded -- it is inconclusive as far as environmental tasks. we need to work collectively on that. the toxic elements of the chinese products, understand the counterpart agency in china, s.unterpart to the consumer product safety commission is working to with it to resolve this and chinese leaders are very aware of it and trying to address it. it is a real problem, causing
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great hardship as well as damage to their property, rendering their homes worth less. if i am confirmed, it will be of ce ipriority. @@@@ lot of this has taken place in louisiana and florida. they have different climate issues in terms of humidity. we are up to 36 states that have experienced this problem. it is remarkable to me that testing and finding the cause is taking this long when it is evident from the families, even the consumer-products safety council staff, you start to feel the ill affects being exposed after a few hours. i would hope that money would be well spent to expedite this tesess. virou do the additional testing and i can speak from the
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virginia standpoint, but i am sure my other colleagues with different weather conditions, testing in florida or louisiana, ba have humidity in hampton roads in virginia beach but not er bad as they have gotten in florida. make sure you have other states involved as well. >> i had spoken to senator pryor about the same issue in arkansas, similar climate to virginia but it is widespread. i don't understand what the best scientists can't come to a onfilusion about what is in this drywall. it if confirmed i will make sure it gets full attention. d to if we have to use outsource testing to get to the root of it, we need to find out what is in this dry wall making people sick. >> i know my time is up.
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oee one the thing inez his famous about, when she gets a whole lot bohn she figures out an answer and i can't think of a better person on a host of these fores to take them on. ereat to see you. >> i came for 3 reasons. we are very proud to be georgians and you're a graduate of the university of georgia and we are proud of that. i have the privilege of chairing nde board of education in the 1990's when he became at yrintendent of education in south carolina and watch what you did in south carolina. you did a marvelous job and demonstrated the attitude somebody should have to deal with difficult problems. i don't really have a question.
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i want to do 2 endorsements. first is what senator warner said. due chinese dry wall situation is one of any number of product problems coming out of china. ee can't pass laws that regulate poduction in china but we have ifays which are our ports and a commerce department and the asc. if you get the chance, a task force of representatives from the port's homeland security can possibly come up with a fresh hold entry to give us some degree of protection, at least in the signal to the world that we're looking at the quality of the products that are coming in. co-sponsor senator demint's act id hh i voted for and chairman prior spend a lot of time on have a lot of unintended
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consequences. connect nanay i have 8, soon to be 9 grandchildren. one of my daughter's in law with a mother of 3, all under 5, chairs the largest second-hand clothing sale and second-hand book swabbing the history of dankind. when that law passed, within weeks they were called by their attorneys, because of the potential effect, legal liability put on them as a second hand manufacturer who did not take responsibility. we need to look at the unintended consequences of that legislation. there's a stay in the implementation but i hope you apply the same diligence in south carolina education as you did to that part to the subject. they are so onerous for people it was never intended for. >> if i am confirmed i will work
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to resolve many of these issues that are coming back to you and other members of this committee. it is my understanding, i have read the guidelines on secondhand stores and asked people house things are going. many of them say we read the guidelines and are now not wlling double -- durable nursery products. cless we know the product of ebt been recalled, the immission has a web site, it requires us to be even more diligent in informing the public about product recalls, so the oecondhand thrift stores are not always in a quandary about whether or not to sell something. rm can work closely with the state consumer product safety commission's and if confirmed by will work with them, the yttorneys general to educate
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people about what is required to be recalled and what they can or cannot sell. rdblic education campaign is certainly needed, these regulations are in place as we go forward to implement it. v i am confirmed i pledge to work with you to do that. >> best of luck to you. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you. r> thank you for being here, and twic family. i have warm words, i remember being there to south carolina and you were being very gracious. i had quite an experience, fish fry that i will never forget. you were most gracious, thank you very much. we have talked about the toy safety and children's products bill that was so important to me. we have a 4-year-old boy died die swallowing a lead time. when he died after the lead going into his bloodstream was
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tested in 1990% lead, that is why feel strongly about getting this bill done and passed on a bipartisan basis but as i look back of these problems which i feel deeply, we have 2 of the biggest domestic manufacturers in minnesota, when i look back, it would have been good to have a more collegial relationship in terms of working together when these problems came on the scene. tiat would be -- that will t wpen. as the legislation was drafted i think it would have been helpful a lwork more proactively. and the third thing we focused en a lot today was the implementation. wee hand made toy line got its genesis in minnesota and you answered some questions on working with them. just to let you know how
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important it is in our state, we just had 1600 a tv writers in a line to break the guinness book doiorld records in minnesota, i know you are jealous. they wouldn't be doing that in arkansas. the question i specifically have, the stay was much appreciated, none of the senators thought that the law would be applied this way, and will be on a judicial body that will be deciding this. t of july 12th, the snow cpsle, motorcycle manufacturers have to submit a report that lists each component part that is made of metal and is accessible to children, there may be hundreds of these parts. the problem is they are trying no figure out what is acceptable because they're supposed to issue a final roll on hiceptability and what is
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accessible on august 14th. they are supposed to give their parts but they don't know what is accessible to august 14th. so what they are trying to get bl some kind of extension so they can find out what is defined as acceptable before they go through these hundreds of parts that they list and wondered if you have any thoughts on that, you may not want to answer specifically. sen want to add that i read the transcript when the senate debated conlan how much this situation has affected you personally in your state. the child that swallowed the charm may -- when i read the transcript, it made the law very real because you are right, so many people have died and been
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injured seriously because we have not been more vigilant entst children's products. you granted 3 exemptions from the lead components, one exemption is the inaccessible parts to certain electronic devices, and the commission can exempt children's toy if forseeable use or abuse, you can document that lead is not a absorb into the body. taose are the 3 areas where it can be exempt. the state enforcement has been issued so the industry can work to see if west's lead is needed in structural integrity. what you just brought up, of the largest issues facing the
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gairman and the commissioners, shat is how soon we can get clear guidance on these questions and this is not unknown to me. when i was elected state superintendent of education i came into an agency that had been cut, did not have the resources to implement a new how, education accountability act and there was confusion in ut whahools. we had to take that apart, figure out what we needed to do. plrked overtime, worked for policies and procedures and we worked as hard as we could implement it and once it was implemented the uncertainty died down. we could go on about our way. this is the same situation i am hearing about. betance and regulations to help industry interpret this law,
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they will comply. >> he a tv industry supported this law because it had good safety standards to apply to manufacturers who are reapplied to this. n. was interpreted in a way that no senator expected. the virginia gray ampule act worked hard after we had the tragedy with abigail paler. we were able to get that done a few months after this tragedy appened and it started to implement all over the country. we worked well with commissioner north, and i just wanted to just say to you that we know the cpsc canton for several little fool all over the country, but we also know that the education efforts will be very important. ad you could take a look at
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that, we found in our state we have had no incidents. it hit people's hearts, the pool operators are making sure things are in better shape. if we can emulate that nationally we will be in better shape. >> i checked in south carolina about the implementation of the full standards and found the department of health and environmental control had written all of the public pool owners to inform them about the regulation and it is not that anyone was pushing back and saying we can't comply. the supply for the drain covers doesn't meet the demand. it is not the content of the law from what i understand. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, miss tenenbaum for your willingness to surf. i wanted to focus on the chinese dry wall issue also.
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it has an enormous negative impact in louisiana. by my estimate, they are up to 7,000 louisiana homes affected. ril of those situations are, as senator warner described, serious health symptoms, yet people down no what the bottom line is, there is major damage to the home, which brings up fundamental safety issues with gas lines. in louisiana it is crippling the tragic, because by definition, these are folks who are flooded by hurricanes, katrina or read or gustav or

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