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Monday June 11, 2018

Feldman Gets Nomination to Complete Mohorovic's Term to October 2019

The fifth CPSC member likely will be Peter Feldman, who most recently has been senior counsel on the Senate Commerce Committee, the panel that would handle his confirmation hearing. The White House June 4 sent his nomination to the Senate. The term is to only October 2019 as Feldman would be completing the term of ex-Commissioner Joseph Mohorovic who left last year (PSL, 10/23/17). Commissioners' slot run regardless of whether they are occupied.


Feldman had been with the Senate committee since 2011. According to his LinkedIn page, he holds a 2010 law degree from American University in Washington D.C. His 2004 undergraduate degrees from Colgate were in Geography and Spanish.


In the years between Colgate and law school, his work included being a legislative assistant for former Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) in 2004-2006. Then he was a staffer for the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee during 2005-2006. He worked in congressional relations at the International Code Counsel in 2007 before overseeing media operations for New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania on John McCain's presidential campaign. After that, he served as a legal associate with the National Republican Congressional Committee before going to law school.


As a Republican, he would give the GOP a 3-2 CPSC majority. New commissioner Dana Baiocco, also a Republican, was sworn in June 1 following her recent confirmation (PSL, 5/28/18). The third Republican is Acting Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle. Commissioners Elliot Kaye and Robert Adler are Democrats.


Another nomination would be needed for Feldman to serve to 2026. It is unclear why the White House did not do that now. It did so with Buerkle, giving her two nominations (still unapproved) – one to be chairman and an early nod for another term as commissioner. Both nominations have been pending for 10 months.


Feldman's selection had been rumored since mid-2017. Speculation heated up earlier this year after a National Law Journal article reported on the possibility (PSL, 2/5/18).


Under CPSC rules, commissioners can stay an extra year after their terms technically end to avoid vacancies. Assuming that Buerkle's and Feldman's pending nominations go through, the ends of commissioners' terms (official end/extra year) would be Feldman (2019/2020), Kaye (2020/2021), Adler (2021/2022), Baiocco (2024/2025), Buerkle (2025/2026). If Buerkle's nominations remain unapproved, she would leave 2018/2019. Slots run until October 27 of each year.