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Public Statements

Drywall Safety Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TERRY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4212, an important bipartisan bill to help fight the problem of defective Chinese drywall which hit many families as a second plague when their home was destroyed by a hurricane or other disaster and then rebuilt using contaminated drywall from China.

The House bill, which passed by voice vote last summer, attacks the problem in three ways:

First, it directs the Secretary of Commerce to engage Chinese leaders and push for the manufacturers of the contaminated drywall to step up and take responsibility for the damages caused by their shoddy product;

Second, the bill requires all drywall manufacturers in the future to label their product with their name and the date of manufacture. The lack of such basic identifying information was a major problem for the homeowners who were stuck with contaminated Chinese drywall but could not determine which manufacturer produced it;

Third, and finally, the House bill requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to restrict elemental sulfur in drywall unless industry voluntarily adopts an acceptable limit first. Compliance with such a limit would be easy to check at the ports or elsewhere using simple handheld devices.

Mr. Speaker, the Senate amendment before us today preserves all of these key aspects of the House bill, making only a few minor changes. Notably, the Senate amendment provides that the CPSC may only enforce a voluntary sulfur limit if it is adopted by a specified standard-setting body. This responds to a concern that the voluntary sulfur limit be a true consensus standard; that is, the product of an open process that allows for participation of industry and consumers alike.

Mr. Speaker, the Senate amendment does not undercut the House-passed version of the bill, nor does it add any unnecessary government regulation. Therefore, I strongly urge the adoption of H.R. 4212.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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