|April 1, 2014|
Previously published on March 28, 2014
President Obama announced yesterday his intent to nominate Elliot Kaye to be chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Kaye currently serves as Executive Director, and previously as Chief of Staff for and Senior Counsel to Inez Tenenbaum. Among Kaye’s key areas of focus at the agency have been efforts to improve youth helmet safety. He also spearheaded the behind-the-scenes negotiations over the development of the agency’s public product hazard reporting database, SaferProducts.gov. Before working at the agency, he worked as an attorney at a law firm in D.C. and as a senior aide in several congressional offices.
Kaye will join Intertek executive Joe Mohorovic, a former aide to Chairman Hal Stratton who was nominated to fill a vacant Republican seat last fall, in being considered by the Senate. In recent years, Republican and Democratic nominees have been considered and confirmed together, making it likely that the same process will be followed here. Given the Senate’s calendar and recent change in rules related to the consideration of most nominees, Kaye and Mohorovic’s nominations are likely to be voted on by the Senate before the fall. Commissioner Bob Adler has served has Acting Chairman since Inez Tenenbaum stepped down last fall and is expected to remain in that role until Kaye is confirmed. Adler’s term officially ends this coming October, but he may be nominated to a succeeding term and in any case can remain on the Commission for a holdover year unless a replacement is named and confirmed earlier.
The agency’s posture is not expected to change significantly if Kaye is confirmed. That may change if Adler’s seat becomes vacant, which would leave the Commission divided between two Democrats and two Republicans as it was for most of 2012.