<br>Scalise Presses For Answers On Toxic Chinese Drywall
Today in an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on consumer protection with the Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez Tenenbaum, Congressman Steve Scalise asked a number of specific questions about toxic Chinese drywall and made the following statement.
Scalise said, "There have been more than 800 complaints about Chinese drywall in Louisiana. The citizens of Louisiana and elsewhere in the country who have been impacted by Chinese drywall deserve clear answers and solutions. Those affected have already been through so much, and now four years after Katrina, many will have to rebuild their homes yet again. This is unacceptable, and we must ensure that no one has to encounter these problems in the future."
Scalise's opening statement from today's Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection hearing is as follows.
Opening Statement from Congressman Steve Scalise (LA-1)
Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Hearing: "Consumer Product Safety Commission Oversight: Current Issues and a Vision for the Future"
September 10, 2009
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and Ranking Member Radanovich for having this hearing. And I would like to congratulate Chairman Tenenbaum on her confirmation and welcome her before our subcommittee.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a very important job -- it protects consumers and families from products that may pose a hazard or can injure children. We must ensure that the CPSC effectively carries out this mission, and that it has the tools to do so. As the father of two young children, I want to be assured that CPSC does its job, and therefore that the toys all children are playing with are safe.
One particular issue before the CPSC that has affected my district, as well as many areas across the country is Chinese drywall. After Florida, Louisiana has had the most cases in the nation of toxic drywall. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has received over 800 complaints about Chinese drywall, and it is estimated that the amount of Chinese drywall brought into Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could potentially affect approximately 7,000 homes.
My office has received numerous complaints from constituents affected by Chinese drywall. One man who called lost his home to Hurricane Katrina and had to relocate his family to another town, only to find out that the home he moved into was built with Chinese drywall. Another constituent realized he had Chinese drywall in his home when his wife
who was 4 months pregnant
wasn't gaining any weight
Her doctor told her to move out of the home, and now she and her husband are living in separate towns while their home is repaired.
During these tough economic times, many of our constituents cannot afford to purchase another home or rent a second one while repairs are made. It is clear that Chinese drywall is wreaking havoc in homes -- charring electrical wires, corroding metal, and causing serious health problems. We must determine the origin and scope of the toxic drywall, and we must take action against those who introduced the drywall into American markets. It is also important that we continue testing in order to realize the potential health problems that Chinese drywall can cause.
Chairman Tenenbaum, in your testimony you mention that the CPSC is "committed to finding answers and solutions for all the homeowners" impacted by this issue. I want to know what answers and solutions you have found. The citizens of Louisiana and elsewhere in the country who have been impacted by Chinese drywall deserve clear answers and solutions. Those affected in my state have already been through so much, and now four years after Katrina, many once again have to rebuild their homes. This is unacceptable, and we must ensure that no one has to encounter these problems in the future.
I look forward to your testimony and I yield back.