The Trump administration has nominated the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Ann Marie Buerkle to permanently fill the role and to serve an additional seven-year term commencing in October 2018.
Buerkle has been leading the agency since former chairman Elliott Kaye resigned from the chairmanship following President Trump’s inauguration. Kaye continues to serve as a commissioner.
Buerkle’s appointment requires Senate approval for her confirmation.
In response to her nomination, Buerkle said she is looking forward to continuing her work protecting consumers.
The president appoints CPSC commissioners and they are subject to Congressional approval. CPSC Commissioners are affiliated with political parties, however, each party is limited to three commissioners.
Chairman Buerkle and Commissioner Joseph Mohorovic both represent the Republican party, with commissioners Robert Adler, Elliot Kaye, Robert Adler and Marietta Robinson represent the Democratic majority. It is anticipated that a Republican appointee will fill Robinson’s seat when her term expires in October.
Chairman Buerkle has strongly opposed the CPSC’s move to increase civil penalties against manufacturers and retailers, saying that in some cases they are justified, but they should be the last resort.
Buerkle has also criticized what she describes as the “vague” statutory requirements in the defect reporting requirements of section 15(b)(3) of the CPSA, that result in most civil penalty settlements.
Last year, then Commissioner Buerkle at a convention of the Toy Industry Association said that state-level regulation of chemicals in toys cause “confusion” and “chaos”.
She has been a staunch proponent for easing third-party testing requirements for industry.
Buerkle was the former Republican congresswoman who represented central New York in 2011 and 2012, prior to her appointment to the CPSC in 2013.