Last year, in an effort to address many of the emerging safety concerns with certain children’s toys and other products, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).  As the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) prepares to meet the effective date of February 10, Members of Congress are being inundated with phone calls, letters and emails from constituents concerned about various emerging unintended consequences that have the potential to be economically crippling.

Many of these constituents are small business owners or simply talented craftsmen with a passion for a hobby that they are able to share by selling their products on eBay, local craft fairs, or out of their own home.  It would be a shame if the tireless and well intentioned work that went into protecting our children through the passage of CPSIA also contributed to the demise of these local artisans.

In a letter to Energy and Commerce Chairman Waxman, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and I suggested a way to jointly find a solution that does not compromise the meritorious intentions of the legislation yet also protects these small business from potential closure: the Energy and Commerce Committee should hold a hearing to examine the numerous unintended consequences of CPSIA and the CPSC should delay the imposition of pending action.

Certainly, during these times of economic uncertainty and record job losses the last thing Congress should do is ignore an issue that could potentially close thousands of small businesses around the country.  It is my hope that Chairman Waxman heeds our advice and understands the distress of our constituents.