Consumer product panel gets a Senate reprieve

The Senate Commerce Committee voted to keep the Consumer Product Safety Commission in business for two more years, rejecting administration pleas that it kill the controversial agency. But the committee did act to curb the commission, sending to the floor a measure to cut its budget 33 percent, restrict some of its powers, and require it to work with industry to develop more voluntary approaches to product safety issues.

The legislation is still subject to amendment on the floor. In addition, reauthorization for the watchdog agency has yet to gel in the House.

In rejecting administration calls to dismantle the agency, the committee also voted not to subject it to a legislative veto like the one imposed last year on the Federal Trade Commission to give Congress m ore control over regulatory machinery.

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