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Senate Commerce Committee approves reauthorizaton of CPSC.

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) sponsored the CPSC Reauthorization Act of 2003, and the Commerce Committee held hearings on the bill June 17, with a panel of Commissioners and consumer and industry groups present.

The purpose of the reauthorization was to fund CPSC for fiscal years 2004 through 2007 and to make some technical amendments allowing the Commission to formalize certain employee positions, which had evolved informally. The Commission had not been reauthorized since 1990.

The biggest surprise was that the full committee reported out an amended version of the bill that would raise the cap on civil penalties up to $20 million. The current cap is $1.65, a limit the Commission rarely approaches.

Whether this amendment will survive a full Senate Floor vote and consideration by the House of Representatives is not known. Commissioners had not requested the increased cap on penalties, but neither did they request any substantive revisions to the statute.

The committee voted unanimously for the amended bill on June 19.
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Publication:CPSC Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2003
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