Durbin Vows to Fight House Republican Prohibition on CPSC Database ‘Putting Children and Consumers at Risk'

Senator to meet with Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman on Tuesday

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today vowed to fight a House Budget provision which prohibits the Consumer Product Safety Commission from providing American families with timely information on dangerous toys and products.  The Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) passed by the Republicans in the House of Representatives last week would remove funding for a publicly accessible database where consumers can report and research potential hazards in toys, cribs and other products.  Durbin is scheduled to meet with the Chairman of the CPSC on Tuesday to discuss the database and a recent safety issuer to stop. involving pool drain covers.
“A database where families can share their concerns about products they use every day is exactly the kind of protection which companies making dangerous products want to stop.   And they have found an ally in House Republicans,” said Durbin.  “Without this database, consumers will be left in the dark for weeks, months or even years about potential hazards.  In light of the recent recalls involving strollers and cribs, this type of delay would mean putting more children in harm’s way.”
The CPSC’s database – scheduled to go online in just a few weeks – will provide a mechanism for consumers to report injuries associated with consumer products and to research risks associated with particular products.  The database will also help the CPSC to identify potential product hazards much more quickly and efficiently.
“I have worked for years to ensure that the CPSC has the resources and the authority it needs to prevent dangerous products from reaching store shelves, ensure faster recalls and allow consumers access to information on existing safety complaints.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers joined me in this effort,” said Durbin.  “The fact that we are fighting this battle again is a reflection of the misplaced priorities of House Republicans."
Prompted by a Chicago Tribune investigation, Durbin sent a letter to the Chairman of the CPSC, Inez Tenenbaum, earlier this month to request a meeting to discuss existing rules and regulations regarding pool safety, specifically steps taken to prevent entrapments due to pool and spa drains and drain covers.
Durbin chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government - the subcommittee which oversees the CPSC’s budget – and has been a leader in strengthening the neglected consumer watchdog agency. In 2008, Durbin was instrumental in passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and was responsible for providing the largest funding increase in the history of the agency to help address critical staffing shortfalls, technology upgrades, and laboratory space needs.