Sunday, February 1, 2009

Time to Contact Your Senator!

In response to the CPSC's press release postponing the testing and certification requirements of the CPSIA for one year, Heather of Boutique Cafe put up this post, "Breathe Easy... and Then Call Your Representatives." It's a great post, but even better is that Sen. DeMint's staffer took note and weighed in with a comment:
  1. Tom Jones says:

    Heather - you hit the nail on the head here.

    First an introduction. I’m Senator DeMint’s staffer that handle’s CPSC issues for him. A couple quick things.

    If your readers could:

    1) Call their Senator Monday and let them know that the problems with the CPSIA still exist. There are still liabilities issues out there, its not clear yet what retailers reaction to the order will be (its great to not have to test for a year but if no one will sell your goods that a bit of a hollow victory), PIRG is going to sue to overturn the order and the order doesn’t do anything to deal with State AGs. And of course all the problems come back full-bore in a year. Please try to impress these things on your Senator’s office.

    2) When you are on the phone with the office make a very specific ask. Let them know you want the Senator to co-sponsor the DeMint bill. Have their staff contact me. (I work on the Commerce Committee and my email is in the “Global Email Directory.” (they’ll know what that is) I can also be called through the DeMint front office phone line which is 4-6121.) Also let the person on the phone that you’d like a written response on whether the Senator will co-sponsor issue. Finally say thanks for talking to you. The person who answers the phone has the lowest job on the Congressional totem pole and when the phones get hot it can be very stressful. Throwing a little sunlight their way helps.

    The main line for Congress is 202-224-3121. Tell the operator which state you are from and ask to speak to one of your Senators. Once you’re done with that, hang up and do it again with the other Senator.

    Thanks again for all your help with this. If it wasn’t for you guys being so engaged on this issue, it wouldn’t be moving like it is.


If you haven't read Senator DeMint's legislation to amend the CPSIA, please click through here. Second, please contact your Senators! I knew I couldn't call tonight, so I e-mailed using the links found here (this will get you the e-mail or phone for your Senators.) Liberally using the information from Tom Jones comment, here's my e-mail to Senators Merkley and Wyden:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission's announcement this week that that they were granting a one-year stay of testing and certification requirements as mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was welcome news to me as I am a home-based seller of children's products. However, this is a hollow victory as PIRG is going to sue to overturn the order and the order doesn't do anything to deal with State Attorney Generals nor prevent any liability issues or all these same problems in one year.

Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina will be introducing legislation this week to reform the CPSIA-- see his post at

I am writing to request that you would co-sponsor this important bill with Sen. DeMint. Tom Jones, Sen. DeMint's staffer that handles CPSC issues, has asked that any senators who would be willing would have their staffers contact him on Monday, February 2nd. He works on the Commerce Committee and his email is in the "Global Email Directory." He can also be called through the DeMint front office phone line which is 4-6121.

I want to thank you in advance for your assistance on this urgent matter. I would be most honored if you would contact me to let me know if you are willing to co-sponsor this legislation.

Thank you for your time.

Please feel free to use any of this to contact your own senators! Let's get this fixed everyone!

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