March 13, 2019

BETHESDA, MD.  Commissioners Peter A. Feldman and Dana Baiocco of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission today issued the following statement:

While we are disappointed that today the Commission was unable to come to an agreement on its Fiscal Year 2020 Performance Budget Request to Congress, we remain optimistic that we can reach a deal on final passage before the Monday deadline.  It is our hope that negotiations will continue, including through the weekend if necessary, to pass this budget request.  However, despite the well-known agency mantra that the CPSC is a “data-driven agency,” significant shortfalls in our data and information technology systems must be addressed.  The Commission adopted a number of amendments to improve this budget proposal.  Nevertheless, the proposed budget leaves in place a significant gap with respect to agency expertise on new and emerging technologies and data science.  To address these challenges, we jointly introduced a budget-neutral amendment to include two full time equivalents in the form of a Chief Technologist and a Chief Data Officer.  This proposal is not an unfamiliar one to CPSC, and was the subject of considerable agency scrutiny, including a 2015 hearing.  This measure has historically received bipartisan support and has been implemented with great success across the federal government.  As proposed, the budget falls short on efficiently and effectively moving this agency forward to complete its mission on behalf of American consumers.  CPSC must continue to be a forward looking agency, and we are hopeful that through continued negotiation we can arrive at a consensus solution to fill this critical need.