Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No Senate staffer left behind

Well, I received a reply from Sen. Hutchison regarding my concerns about product safety, which I mentioned in a previous post. No word from Hensarling yet. (With these three in Washington, I really don't feel my views are very well represented, but I digress.) Hutchison was even worse than Cornyn in staying on topic. The letter she sent referenced product safety exactly zero times. I read it a few times just to make sure. The letter was all about trade policy. It is a related issue, but it is not the issue I contacted her about. I won't bore you with the letter.

I'm giving her staff a second chance to prove their reading comprehension. Here is my reply to the reply.

Dear Sen. Hutchison,

Thank you for your reply to my note regarding import product safety. Perhaps my original correspondence was unclear, as your reply only referenced trade policy but did not mention a word about product safety, the subject of my letter. Receiving a reply that does not address the subject of my correspondence is very frustrating. At a time when there are headlines every week for months on end about recalled products, I would hope that your office is focused on and responding to this very real problem impacting your constituents.

Briefly, I am concerned about the safety of foods and consumer products (especially toys) being imported to the United States. I want to know what actions you are taking to improve oversight of consumer product safety. Specifically, I urge you to support dramatically increased funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, providing more inspectors and oversight of the products that come into our country. As you know, this agency has been starved and as such is largely ineffectual against the flood of imports entering the country.

I am not opposed to international trade, and I do not believe that safe products and better oversight are at odds with good trade relations. The citizens of the United States need to have a degree of confidence in the safety of the goods they purchase. Our safety and our children’s safety are more important than any perceived economic benefit of lax to nonexistent oversight.

Thank you for your time.

I'll let you know in a few weeks if I get something back that addresses the topic.

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