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Public Statements

Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2015

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I bring a very simple amendment. As the Clerk read, you saw it is just two lines.

Let's reduce another $2 million of that IRS enforcement account, and let's move this over to help another Federal agency do its job. Because we have had one agency that is making life difficult for taxpayers and business owners, now let's have an agency that is supposed to be doing their job. Let's make certain that they do it.

What we are doing is redirecting this million dollars over to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's budget for third-party testing relief to assist them in completing and meeting their statutory requirements.

What has happened, in August, 2011, Congress passed an amendment to the CPSC Improvement Act mandating that they identify ways to reduce the third-party testing burdens that are facing our American businesses. That was to reduce the burden.

After soliciting comments in November of 2011, CPSC staff identified 14 ways in which this could be done. In October of the following year, 2012, they approved eight of the 14 recommendations, suggesting ways that the Commission could move forward. However, as we stand here 2 years later after that period, I am sure few are surprised to hear that CPSC still has not followed through with this mandate. In fact, the only action taken thus far has been a single workshop held on April 3 to identify materials that may not require testing. In fact, the only action taken thus far on these approved recommendations has been to solicit comments from industry on three separate occasions and to hold one workshop. It is clear that the agency has placed the requirements of burden reduction on the industry, not on the bureaucrats at the CPSC.

It is important to note why Congress passed our CPSC amendment in the first place. Our current economic situation is indeed dire. It was then and continues to be. The American people depend immensely on our American businesses to provide jobs. Even more so, the American people are depending on us to help create the environment that will spur job growth.

The third-party testing burden hinders the ability of these companies to hire more employees and to expand their product lines. It hinders the ability of these businesses to grow the economy. It is detrimental to our workforce. Additionally, the testing hinders Americans who own small businesses, as they are the ones who are having to absorb these extra costs.

The Commission claims that these third-party testing regulations are paramount to our safety when, in fact, our domestic industries spend millions of dollars each and every year on unnecessary testing, including on materials known to never contain harmful chemicals.

Congress recognized this back in 2011. We took action. We expect the CPSC to follow through and to take the necessary actions. It has been 3 years since the mandate went into effect, and it is time that we encourage the CPSC to get their act together and move forward with the implementation on the mandate.

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, in the interest of time, I think it would be instructive to my colleague to realize what we are doing is saying the agency doesn't have the right to continue to cherry-pick. Fourteen suggestions 3 years ago; we have been waiting for 2 years. They have said eight were approved.

What we have is businesses who would like to expand the business, businesses that would like to bring American products to the American marketplace, and the third-party testing burden is placed on these businesses. The CPSC is not doing their job to create the right environment.

I would encourage everyone to support this amendment. Let's make certain that these agencies do their job and work with the industry to be certain that we create the environment for jobs growth to take place in this country.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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