October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

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Peter Feldman Confirmed as Fifth Commissioner at CPSC, Ushering in a Republican Majority for First Time Since 2006

This afternoon, Peter Feldman was confirmed by a vote of 80-19 to be a Commissioner for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for a term to end in October 2019. The Senate also voted along party lines to invoke cloture so a vote could be taken on Feldman’s nomination for a second term. Feldman’s second term would run from October 2019 through October 2026. The Senate is expected to vote on the second term within the next couple of weeks.

Once Feldman is sworn in for his first term, which also likely will happen within the next couple of weeks, he will become the CPSC’s fifth Commissioner and create a Republican majority at the CPSC for the first time since October 2006. Notably, depending on when Feldman is sworn in, the Commission could have a Republican majority prior to the vote on the CPSC’s Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Plan. The establishment of a Republican majority prior to this vote would be significant because the Operating Plan locks in the CPSC’s agenda and work plan from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. The Commission is currently scheduled to vote on the Operating Plan on October 10th, but under the Commission’s rules that vote can be (and likely will be) delayed until October 17th.

The CPSC was quick to issue a press release on the confirmation, including a statement from Feldman:

I believe strongly in the mission of the agency because American consumers have every right to expect that the products they purchase will be safe and will not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to themselves or their families. CPSC’s safety work is critical, particularly when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable populations. I look forward to advancing these agency priorities while ensuring fairness in the execution of its duties.

While Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle’s nominations to (1) become the permanent Chairman of the agency and (2) for an additional seven-year term ending in October 2025 are still pending, it was expected that the Senate would vote on Feldman’s nomination first in order to establish a Republican majority at the agency. Buerkle’s first term at the agency expires near the end of this October but she can hold over in her current position for up to one year.

We look forward to following Commissioner Feldman’s tenure at the CPSC and seeing how his years of experience overseeing the CPSC and other regulatory agencies while Senior Counsel on the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation translate to his new role as a CPSC Commissioner.

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About this Author

Shawn Skolky, Mintz Levin Law Firm, Washington DC, Corporate and Litigation Law Attorney
Associate

Shawn advises on many aspects of antitrust and competition law, including antitrust counseling, merger review, and private antitrust litigation, including class actions. His consumer product safety practice focuses on helping companies seeking representation on product safety reporting obligations, recalls, regulatory compliance, product safety investigations, and enforcement matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and other federal and state product safety laws.

202-434-7345
Matthew Howarse, Consumer Safety, Attorney, Mintz Levin, Law Firm
Member

Matt is a prominent consumer product safety lawyer who advises manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, trade associations, and test laboratories. He has extensive experience with compliance, regulatory enforcement, recalls, and other product safety related issues. He represents clients before the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, the Federal Trade Commission, Congress, and state agencies. Matt draws on his four-year tenure as the CPSC chief of staff and his many years advising clients in private practice to devise practical and resourceful solutions for clients. He serves as Chair of Mintz’s Consumer Product Safety Practice and president-elect of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

Based in Washington, DC, Matt is the Chair of the firm’s Consumer Product Safety Practice. He focuses his practice on consumer product compliance and enforcement issues involving the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), individual US states, the Federal Trade Commission, and Health Canada.

Matt previously served as the Chief of Staff of the CPSC from 2010 to 2013 and as the Chairman’s Senior Counsel in 2009. Matt is very involved in the national and international product safety community and currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

Matt regularly helps companies seeking representation on product safety reporting obligations, recalls, regulatory compliance, product safety investigations, civil penalties, import investigations, internal compliance programs and training, the CPSC’s public database, and other regulatory and enforcement matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA), Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCSPA), and other federal and state product safety laws. He assists clients with navigating complex product safety compliance issues and avoiding unwarranted recalls or enforcement actions.

Matt’s experience includes representing manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of apparel, children’s toys, fitness equipment, office supplies, household furniture, juvenile products, power tools, products requiring child resistant packaging, audio video equipment, arts & crafts materials, books, recreational and sporting equipment, safety equipment, hair care tools, kitchen appliances, lighters, candles, heating and cooling equipment, home decorations, promotional products, household cleaners, and many other types of consumer products. Matt also advises trade associations, testing laboratories, and various other types of clients on product safety issues and represents them before product safety regulators and Congress.

With over 10 years of experience in product safety, including the representation of a wide range of consumer product industries and working in a senior leadership position at the CPSC, Matt is able to provide well rounded, efficient, and thorough advice on the full spectrum of product safety issues.

202-434-7446
Charles Samuels, Mintz Levin Law Firm, Washington DC, Tax and Environmental Law Attorney
Member

Chuck is engaged in a federal and international regulatory and legislative practice. He has been extensively involved in product safety, environmental, tax, health care, technology, and energy issues, and public finance legislative and regulatory matters for a variety of trade associations, corporations, local governments, and state agencies.

His practice encompasses work before the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Energy, and Treasury, US Trade Representative, Environmental Protection...

202-434-7311