Months after she was initially nominated, today the U.S. Senate confirmed Dana Baiocco (R) as the next CPSC Commissioner in a 50-45 vote, replacing Marietta Robinson (D), whose term expired in October 2017. Ms. Baiocco’s confirmation brings the Commission to two Republicans and two Democrats. Ms. Baiocco was originally approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in November, but her nomination, along with almost 100 others, was returned to the President at the end of the year as that Congressional session ended. Ms. Baiocco was re-nominated in January. There had been no movement on this confirmation hearing until late last week when Senate Majority Leader McConnell filed cloture to end debate and proceed to a vote.
Prior to this nomination, Baiocco was a litigator at Jones Day who counseled clients on CPSC recalls and class-action lawsuits. Concerns have been raised as to her potential conflicts of interest stemming from her representation of companies such as Mattel and Yamaha, but she has committed to assess the need for possible recusal on matters on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Baiocco attended Duquesne University School of Law and clerked for The Honorable Gustave Diamond of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Based on testimony during her confirmation hearing, Ms. Baiocco can be expected to focus on emerging technology, including Internet of Things issues, and the subsequent hazards. She will serve a 7-year term to end on October 27, 2024.
Ann Marie Buerkle (R) continues as Acting Chairman, and her nomination to become Chairman is still pending.