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Walden Remarks at Subcommittee Markup on Bills Designed to Protect Consumers from Dangerous Products


07.10.19

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) delivered the following opening remarks today at a Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce markup on six pieces of legislation aimed to protect consumers from dangerous products.

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning and welcome to the first Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittee markup of the year. Today, we will consider six bills under the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s jurisdiction: H.R. 2211, H.R. 3172, H.R. 3170, H.R. 1618, H.R. 806, and H.R. 2647. All of these bills were discussed at the legislative hearing last month, and we’ve been working with the majority on many of these bills.  However, notably missing from the markup today is H.R. 3169, the FASTER Act, which was also discussed at that legislative hearing.

The FASTER Act aims to protect consumers from potentially hazardous products by removing those products from the marketplace as quickly and efficiently as possible. It builds upon the once award-winning Fast Track recall program that has since slowed due to unnecessary layers of bureaucracy.

The FASTER Act includes provisions of the existing Consumer Product Safety Commission program and takes lessons learned from the recall processes at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. It is a common-sense bill that puts consumers first and bureaucracy second.

I would like to thank our Subcommittee Republican Leader, Ms. Rodgers, for her leadership on the importance of maintaining the Fast Track recall program, as well as Mr. Soto for his support of the legislation.

Although I am disappointed it is not included in today’s markup, I am encouraged to hear the commitment from the Majority that they will continue to work with us on this very important bill. We are committed to working with you on a bipartisan basis on the FASTER Act for future consideration.

Protecting consumers is a bipartisan goal we should all work to achieve and I am encouraged to see the bipartisan support for some of the bills we will consider today.

For example, H.R. 806, the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019, seeks to prevent injuries and deaths from flame jetting. H.R 806 requires the use of mitigation devices that will drastically improve safety around the use of portable fuel containers.

As you already heard and will hear throughout the markup, concerns remain with some of the other bills that will be considered today. But, in the spirit of bipartisanship, we intend to voice vote the bills out of subcommittee today and will continue to negotiate final language before the full committee markup.  My hope is that we can keep this process bipartisan and resolve our concerns.

Chair Schakowsky, thank you for your leadership on these issues and for your commitment to continuing to work with us to find bipartisan solutions.

Thank you and I yield back.

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