Rep. Paul Ryan, R-1st District, wrote the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commissions today about his concern over the "unintendended consequences" coming from a new law aimed at protecting children from products containing lead and other dangerous chemicals.
The law, passed overwhelmingly by Congress with support from the entire Wisconsin delegation, threatened to bring about the closure of thrift stores specializing in children's clothes, because they couldn't possibly afford to test every item they sell. It takes effect Feb. 10. We wrote about it here on Thursday, and on Thursday afternoon emailed Ryan and Sen. Herb Kohl asking for their reaction.
On Friday, Ryan wrote (click the letter at right to read it all) Nancy Nord, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, that the law is well-intentioned, but "pleas for assistance are compelling," especially those from small retailers and thrift shops "that sell children's clothes that are unlikely to exceed the law's new thresholds." He "strongly encouraged" the commission to consider the ramifications of the law's implementation.
Well, timing is everything.
Or do good intentions matter?
Regardless, Ryan's office sent me a copy of his letter Friday evening. I don't know when it was sent to Nord -- or even whether it's been received yet -- but the CPSC on Friday morning eased the regulations, at least as far as thrift shops and secondhand stores are concerned.
Problem solved. Who really cares how it happened?