VICTORY! House Votes to Exclude Books from CPSIA; Passes H.R. 2715!
BIG news! BIG victory! A bipartisan, expedited compromise bill to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 2715) has passed the House of Representatives this afternoon. This legislation EXCLUDES ORDINARY BOOKS & PAPER-BASED PRINTED MATERIALS from third-party testing and certification under CPSIA (books w/ “inherent play value” like plastic parts or stuffed animals would still be regulated). The vote passed by a vote of 421-2. We are now onward to the Senate!
Prior to the vote, the limited debate included supportive-only floor speeches from Subcommittee Chairman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Subcommittee Ranking Member Butterfield (NC) (who also spoke on behalf of Rep. Ed Towns’ (D-NY) championing of the books exclusion provision), Representative Rehberg (R-MT – who spoke only to his pet issue of ATVs), and E&C Cmte Ranking Member Waxman (D-CA), who noted that it had been a “long, hard road” but did support this compromise legislation.
The only other industry receiving an exclusion was the ATV/bikes industry, which had been the other signature industry lobbying for exclusion from this regulation. All other manufacturers and products received some relief from the general expansion of authority and discretion provided to CPSC to implement the law. The bill, which had originally been set for action following August recess, was expedited to address a recent controversial 3-2CPSC ruling that would have left current merchandise on shelves to be removed or discarded by August 14th. This legislation would make the lead levels prospective rather than retroactive as to not disrupt products currently in the stream of commerce.
This is a BIG WIN! We now move onward to the Senate, where the bill up for a vote tonight does NOT have the exclusion for books but only for ATVs/bikes. We do not expect a conference committee to hammer out differences between the House and Senate on these bills. Instead, it’s our understanding that once the Senate passes its bill, the House may offer a substitute amendment and send back to the Senate to accept. The goal would be to keep the book exclusion intact. Given the strong bipartisan vote that just occurred we stand a good chance of it remaining in the final version. We will continue to lobby to the conclusion of this process.