This week President Obama announced his plans to expand the size of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission leadership from the current three commissioner safety panel to a five member panel. Obama has also asked Congress for $107 million in funding for the agency, which would be a 75 percent increase over the funding the agency has received in recent years.
“It is a top priority of my administration to ensure that the products the American people depend on are safe. We must do more to protect the American public — especially our nation’s children — from being harmed by unsafe products," the president said in a statement.
Obama’s has decided to nominate former Senate candidate and South Carolina schools chief Inez Tenenbaum to chair the commission.
Pending confirmation Tenenbaum will likely replace acting chairwoman Nancy Nord, who was appointed to the position back in 2005. Under Nord’s watch the agency has faced harsh criticism from lawmakers over poor performance concerning toy safety and questionable expenses as reported by the Washington Post.
Robert Adler will also be nominated to serve as a commissioner on the expanded panel. Adler is a professor legal studies at the University of North Carolina. Adler has a wealth of experience in the industry highlighted by 11 years as an attorney-advisor to various commission members. Adler also served numerous terms on the board of directors of the popular industry group, the Consumer Union.
Hopefully this additional funding and shake up in the administration will allow the agency to better fulfill their duties and lead to a safer consumer environment for the nation as a whole.