Late Wednesday evening, Democrat Elliot Kaye resigned as chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Republican Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle has assumed the position of Acting Chair until a new chair is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Kaye will remain on the CPSC as a commissioner, with a term set to expire October 2020. Buerkle said in a statement last week, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead CPSC as Acting Chairman as the agency transitions under a new Administration.” She further stated,
I will work to enhance relationships so that CPSC can leverage the knowledge, insight, and expertise of the entire consumer product safety community. We are all consumers and what we do at CPSC impacts the lives and livelihoods of all Americans. If we take a thoughtful, collaborative approach, we will impact the culture of product safety in a positive and meaningful way.
Commissioner Buerkle has been vocal in her opposition to the CPSC’s recent proposals for the voluntary recall notices and 6(b) proposals. In a statement made last October, Buerkle advocated that the proposed rules be terminated, calling them “unsalvageable.” She stated, “Any attempt to move forward now would put the staff in an extremely uncomfortable position of responding to harsh comments on ideas that did not originate with the staff.”
Buerkle’s elevation means that the Commission holds onto its 3-2 Democratic majority, at least until Commissioner Robinson’s term expires this October and the Trump administration appoints a Republican commissioner to replace her.