Press Release

Blackburn Amendment to Block Detroit Bailout Passes House

Makes Spending Cut to IRS, Reins in CPSC

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Washington, July 16, 2014 | Mike Reynard (202-225-1112) | comments
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today secured several provisions that seek to protect hard-working American taxpayers from government waste and mismanagement as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services Appropriations Bill that was approved by the House of Representatives.

The bill includes an amendment offered by Blackburn that would prevent the federal government from bailing out the public pensioners in cities such as Detroit and Chicago.

“I refuse to stand by and watch hard-working taxpayers be left on the hook for the irresponsible decisions of liberal big labor groups,” Blackburn said. “Cities such as Detroit, Chicago and others where big labor has created extremely generous retirement benefits for public service workers are going to have find their own way out of the mess they have created. We must foreclose the Administration’s bailout of big labor bosses as a possibility. It simply should not be an option.”

The House also accepted Congressman Blackburn’s proposal to cut $2 million in funding from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and transfers part of the money to the Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC) in order to enhance third party testing relief.

“Third party testing burdens hinder the ability of American companies to hire more employees, and to expand their product lines. It hinders the ability of businesses to grow our economy, and is detrimental to our workforce,” said Blackburn. “Businesses and families are hurting because of the bureaucratic mess at the CPSC and their refusal to serve the American people dutifully. It’s time for the CPSC to be responsive by taking ownership of its mandate and release industry and small businesses from the hefty economic burdens that do not always lead to the increased safety of products.”

Blackburn also secured a provision in the bill that would prohibit any funds from being used by CPSC to move forward with a proposed rule that would cripple the highly successful voluntary recall program currently in place. For nearly 40 years, the CPSC and manufacturers and retailers—both big and small—have partnered to ensure that the system of voluntary recalls is effectively reducing the safety risks posed to the public. In fact, the CPSC recently highlighted the success of program, noting that 90 percent of recalls through the award-winning Fast Track program are implemented within 20 days. The Fast Track program was created by former CPSC Chairman Ann Brown to greatly reduce the amount of time it takes recalls to be implemented.

“Instead of working to increase the efficiency of its programs, the CPSC’s proposed rule change effectively kills its most successful program,” Blackburn said. “This proposed rule would slow the process and put consumers making it more difficult to remove defective products from the marketplace. The public would ultimately be more at risk through a hostile process involving more time, lawyers and greater costs.My amendment seeks to remind the Commission that its mission is to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products in an efficient and responsible manner.”

Finally, Blackburn offered her amendment to cut spending in the FY15 Financial Services Appropriations bill by an additional one-percent across-the-board, which would have saved taxpayers more than $228 million.

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