Tougher consumer protections opposed by agency chair.

Nancy A. Nord, President Bush’s acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation that would strengthen the agency that polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools.” The New York Times reports:

On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff. […]

Ms. Nord, who before joining the agency had been a lawyer at Eastman Kodak and an official at the United States Chamber of Commerce, criticized the measure in letters sent late last week and this afternoon to the Democratic leaders of the committee. She was critical, for instance, of a provision to ban lead from all toys. […]

She opposed making it easier to bring criminal prosecutions of companies that knowingly sell defective products and also criticized a measure that would make it easier for the commission to publicly disclose reports of faulty products.


White House spokesman Tony Fratto insisted the White House did not coordinated with Nord on her complaints, but nevertheless, the White House “shared many of her concerns.”