Trump Administration Sets Stage for Republican Majority at CPSC
Having previously nominated Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle to serve as the permanent chair, and with Senate Commerce Committee hearings held on her confirmation on September 27, 2017, President Trump has nominated lawyer Dana Baiocco to serve a commissioner on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Baiocco would serve for a standard 7-year term beginning October 27, 2017. If confirmed, Baiocco would replace Commissioner Marietta Robinson, an Obama appointee whose term expires in October. Currently 3 out of 5 commissioners are Democrats.
Although Commissioner Robinson’s term ends in October, she can continue to serve for up to an additional year before she must vacate her seat, until a replacement is sworn in. Historically, commissioners’ seats were vacant for extended periods before new nominees filled them. Indeed, for most of the CPSC’s existence, Congress funded only three of the five statutory seats. That Robinson’s seat will be filled more quickly than usual signals the White House’s intent to establish a 3-to-2 Republican majority at the agency before year’s end.
Earlier this year, Elliot Kaye was one of the last Obama-era holdouts to step down from a chairman’s role, giving Trump the seat to fill. He was replaced by current Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, whose nomination to serve as Chairman was considered by the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing on September 27, 2017, and is scheduled to be voted on by the Committee on Wednesday, October 4. Baiocco’s nomination further demonstrates the Trump Administration’s interest in the independent agency.
Baiocco was one of the founding partners of law firm Jones Day’s Boston office, which opened in 2011, after joining the firm in 1998 and becoming a partner in 2007. She has represented manufacturers and airlines in a range of defensive litigation. Prior to her tenure at Jones Day, Baiocco served as a law clerk to Judge Gustave Diamond, a federal district judge in Pennsylvania, from 1996 to 1998. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Bar Associations, served as the chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates from 2009 to 2011, and served on its board of governors.