A rally has been planned to protest Congressional stonewalling over CPSIA, taking place in Washington DC on April 1st. Your presence is requested. The is the brainchild of Rick Woldenberg who says:
I am pleased to announce that on April 1 there will finally be an opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to tell Congress directly about the terrible impact of the CPSIA on our lives and businesses. Having been repeatedly denied the opportunity to explore the issues created by the CPSIA in public hearings by both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Small Business since December, we have elected to organize our own rally and open hearings for this purpose. This unprecedented event is a true demonstration of democracy at work – the People will not be denied their say in this vitally important matter. The date – April Fool’s Day – is ironic but the open hearing and rally are quite real and will be held on time with a full slate of speakers and a wide range of participants. This event will include support from numerous trade organizations and is expected to feature remarks by Members of Congress as well as scientists and representatives of various organizations affected by the legislation such as small businesses, libraries, charities and thrift stores. This event will also be open to the media.
There are several ways you can signal your intent to join the event. You can leave a comment here, on the Facebook page, CPSIA-Ning or in this thread on the Fashion-Incubator site. A central planning site listing all activities and committees in charge of logistics (like accommodations) isn’t live yet but the URL is Amend the CPSIA (bookmark and check back later for content). However it is you sign up to come, be sure to let someone know (Jennifer is coordinating for F-I, you can also call her at 312-860-1186) so we can get a head count. Food will be provided the day of the event so our need to know is critical in many ways. Feel free to road trip and bring the kids to witness democracy in action. This event will be big, and include members of Congress!
A variety of news worth mentioning:
CPSC: The CPSC released a Stay of Enforcement of Testing and Certification Requirements; (pdf) dated January 30, 2009. A cursory examination shows they get it. As debated previously regarding the question of which definitions were likely to define a “small business”, they’re using the SBA’s. In the case of children’s wear apparel producers, this encompasses 99% of businesses. Also see the CPSC press release explaining the matter. Another legal source is The Smart Mama. Further updates are forthcoming.
Legislative: Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has announced he’s sponsoring legislation to amend the CPSIA. The bare bones of the plan are on his site; I’ll publish or link to final version once permitted to do so. Minimally, we extend a great deal of gratitude to Mr. DeMint and his legislative aides for crafting a proposal with the input of manufacturers. It is gratifying to be heard.
Retail: Anecdotal response from retailers has been mixed. Or rather, I should say one-sided. Retailers are concerned their liability has increased. All I’ve spoken to have said they intend to enforce existing CPSIA mandates on their vendors, requiring GCCs as previously stipulated.
Unresolved: Furthermore, extensive legal questions remain unresolved. There is little doubt special interest groups who promulgated this law’s passage will let yesterday’s stay of enforcement go unchallenged. Speaking of special interest groups, The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed filed an emergency stay of effective date (pdf) on January 28th with 77 signatory associations.
Note: I will be going to Washington DC Monday February 2, through Wednesday February 4th. More news upon my return.
This fight is far from over.