Monday January 14, 2019
CPSC FY2019 Budget Number Would Stay Steady in Newest Funding Bills
CPSC would operate for the remainder of FY2019 with expected funds but still be barred from certain work on ROVs under House funding bills, HR 21 and HR 264. Both passed the House soon after introduction on near party-line votes of 241-190 and 240-188, respectively. Both were before the Senate as of the PSL press time although HR 21 was somewhat farther along procedurally. However, substantive Senate consideration was uncertain.
In both, the agency would get $126 million, the amount assumed by the commission when it approved the FY2019 operating plan (PSL, 10/1/18). The figure also reflected the budget level the agency had for the first three months of the fiscal year (began October 1) under the short-term funding that expired at the end of December.
The language on CPSC (and elsewhere) was essentially identical to that from bills passed by the last, Republican-controlled House. The goal was to put pressure on members of that party to vote for language they already agreed to, thereby reopening agencies unrelated to the shutdown fight. Eight and seven Republicans, respectively, did vote for the bills.
Thus, the ROV restriction remained. It limits CPSC work on a 2014 proposed regulation until completion of a study by the National Academy of Sciences and with consultation of NHTSA and the Defense Department. That work is looking at lateral stability and handling related to rollovers. It also is assessing proposed hangtags to give rollover data.
The $126 million would keep CPSC even from FY2018.
Consumer groups in May (PSL, 5/28/18) suggested that the number was about $10 million short and worried about staffing losses and undone work.
Interestingly, last February (PSL, 2/19/18), Commissioner Elliot Kaye issued a statement calling for $126.6 million for FY2019 versus the $123.45 sought in an initial White House budget proposal. The number was raised subsequently, including ultimately to briefly-considered $127 million in a House bill last year.