January 9, 2009

Ryan comes to thrift shops' aid ... as problem solved

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?


  1. "Problem solved. Who really cares how it happened?"

    I shouldn't have to point this out, but if it was because Obama did something it would become an AP bulletin.

  2. Thank goodness. Buying secondhand is one of the reasons I'm able to stay at home with the kids.

  3. Implying that Paul Ryan's letter may have resulted in an easing of the law is just wrong. The CPSC memo did not "ease" the regulation, but rather clarified it as it relates to resellers. And the memo was dated January 8, a day before Ryan's letter was written. As a resale store shopper I've happy Ryan supports such businesses, but let's not imply credit where it isn't due.

  4. If a DEM had been involved, OMG, what a wonderful effort of humanitarianism and another example of the outstanding dedication to "doing what's right." But a REP -- the day DEMs give a REP credit for anything, or even a bit of thanks -- well that day is a long way off.