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Monday January 15, 2018

Buerkle and Baiocco Nominations Are Before Senate Again

The White House January 8 resubmitted the nominations of CPSC Acting-Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle and commissioner-designee Dana Baiocco. The two likely will not require additional Senate hearings as that is not a requirement. Both have gone through the committee process and simply need a full-Senate vote.

 

The move was due to a procedural action: the recent recess caused scores of unapproved nominations to be set back (PSL, 1/1/18). The underlying Rule XXXI-6 (bit.ly/2CNHQtE) requires still-unapproved nominations to be returned prior to longer recesses.

 

Although that provision can be and traditionally is waived during the break that occurs between the first and second halves of a congressional session, this time it was not for an unusually high number of nominees. There were competing explanations of Democratic obstruction (likely the source of no-consent) versus their concerns about nominees' conflicts and/or qualifications.

 

Buerkle's two nominations are to become official chairman and to get another seven-year term when her current one ends in October. Her hearing was last October (PSL, 10/23/17). Baiocco's is to fill the seat being vacated by Commissioner Marietta Robinson. That seat's term began last fall as commissioner slots run regardless of being filled. Baiocco's hearing was in November (PSL, 11/6/17).

 

A third commissioner slot is open – the one vacated by Commissioner Joseph Mohorovic. It runs until 2019. CPSC has a 3-1 Democratic majority.