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President Trump Nominates Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle as Permanent Chairman of the CPSC

Today, President Donald Trump officially announced his intent to nominate Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle to be the permanent Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Her new seven year term will begin on October 27, 2018 when her first term is set to expire. If confirmed, she will effectively become the permanent Chairman immediately and her new term will end in October 2025.

The official announcement is copied below and was released by the White House Office of the Press Secretary just a few hours ago.

paperwork White House

In an earlier post discussing Buerkle’s elevation to Acting Chairman, we provided insight and reasoning for Chairman Buerkle’s selection as the permanent Chairman. Throughout the past six months while Buerkle’s name has been in consideration for the permanent Chairman position this sentiment has remained consistent within the regulated community.

We wrote:

“Chairman Buerkle’s name has been circulating for some time now as a potential candidate for the permanent Chairman of the CPSC given her extensive experience inside the agency (and as a member of Congress) as well as the significant amount of proactive outreach she has done with agency stakeholders during her term as a Commissioner. Given the fact that a new Chairman from outside of the current Commission could not join the agency until late October at the earliest, it has also been pointed out that President Trump’s nomination of Buerkle as the permanent Chairman will allow for earlier hiring for key staff positions and the advancement and framing of her priorities as the Republican Chairman that can then be more quickly implemented once a third Republican Commissioner joins the agency.”

After the election of President Trump, the Commissioners unanimously voted to install Chairman Buerkle as the Vice Chairman of the agency, setting the stage for her ascension to become the Acting Chairman after the change in administration. Chairman Buerkle assumed the post of Acting Chairman on February 9, 2017, after President Trump removed former Chairman Elliot Kaye from his position.

Though Commissioner Kaye is no longer the Chairman of the agency he remains a Commissioner because his term as a Commissioner is a fixed seven year term that runs independent of the Presidency. Because of the independent nature of the Commissioners’ terms the CPSC is the only part of the Executive Branch that, to our knowledge, remains under Democratic control with three Democratic and two Republican Commissioners.

It is widely believed that the administration is actively searching for a Republican CPSC Commissioner candidate to replace Democratic Commissioner Marti Robinson, whose term expires near the end of October 2017. If a Republican Commissioner is not confirmed prior to the expiration of Commissioner Robinson’s term, her tenure will extend up to one year and the Commission will remain under Democratic control until such time as a new Republican Commissioner is confirmed.

Before joining the CPSC, Chairman Buerkle served in the House of Representatives for New York’s 25th Congressional District. During her Congressional tenure, she was appointed to serve as a United States Representative to the 66th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations from 2011 to 2012. Prior to her Congressional career, Chairman Buerkle was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York.

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About this Author

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...

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 Agency, Federal Trade Commission, the IRS, and other federal and state agencies. He also has extensive experience dealing with Canada, the European Commission, and international bodies.

Chuck also engages in trade association representation and antitrust counseling. As general counsel of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Chuck negotiated and drafted the amendments to the Consumer Product Safety Act and the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, and represents the appliance industry at international bodies dealing with safety, energy, ozone depletion, and global warming.

Before joining Mintz Levin, Chuck practiced regulatory law with a law firm in Chicago and then worked in the Executive Office of the President before entering private practice in Washington.

202-434-7311
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