Washington Has Had Enough Of CPSC Chair Nancy Nord

It seems that more than a few people in Washington have had just about enough of Nancy Nord and her whole “No, don’t make my agency regulate the industry its supposed to regulate” thing. Nancy has come out against currently proposed legislation that would give the CPSC both more money and more power, because she says it would make consumers “less safe” by overwhelming her office with complaints about trivial stuff.

From Reuters:

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined other Democrats on Tuesday in calling for the resignation of the head of the nation’s top consumer product safety watchdog, following a wave of recalls of dangerous toys, food and other goods.

“I would join my colleagues … in calling upon the president of the United States to ask for the resignation” of Nancy Nord, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Pelosi told reporters at a news conference.

Oh, Nancy. You’ve made them mad.

Nord says she has no intention of resigning and that she’s not a puppet of the administration:

“At this point I have no intention of resigning,” said acting Chairwoman Nancy Nord . “I’m doing my job, and part of my job is to talk with Congress about the tools and resources we need.”

Nord rejected criticism that she is controlled by the White House and too cozy with manufacturers.

“I’m dedicated to the mission of this agency. We work every day to make sure the marketplace is safe for consumers,” she said in an interview on CBS’ “The Early Show” on Wednesday.

She still maintains that the legislation is inappropriate.

“I want to be hiring more safety inspectors and scientists and compliance officers, I don’t want to be hiring lawyers,” Nord said.

We’d like to believe her, but we seem to remember a certain hearing where she was prohibited (by the administration) from telling Congress whether or not the CPSC needed more money. She was literally not permitted to say the word “Yes.” She kept repeating “If you give me money, I’ll spend it,” over and over again as if she was some sort of trauma victim on a badly written TV show.

CPSC Head Says She Won’t Resign [Associated Press]
Pelosi seeks to oust head of product safety watchdog [Reuters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Buran says:

    “I don’t want to have to actually do my job! Waaaaahhh!”

  2. Crymson_77 says:

    If she won’t resign…fire her ass…

  3. SOhp101 says:

    Maybe she should take a course in statistics.

    In order to get an accurate analysis of the population, the entire population does not need to be tested.

  4. darkened says:

    I actually agree with her, the clearest example is californias 311 call center that gets random calls for everything, implementing this in an agency thats supposed to be ensuring our safety will do exactly what she said. Make us unsafe from people giving unending run arounds for them to chase.

  5. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Has anyone thought of trying to get this wackjob involuntarily committed to a mental institution?
    Since when doesn’t a top bureaucrat want more employees, a bigger budget & more top execs to boss around?
    Only a lunatic doesn’t!
    Send her to St. Elizabeth’s to join John Hinckley Jr.

  6. karlrove says:

    Bureaucracy–in the functioning-government sense, not the bad, red-tape one–is good for the economy. The worst person in the world you could hire to run a watchdog agency is one who used to work for the industry it regulates (Nord). Industry likes profit-maximizing. This is ok, but government needs to act as its balance.

  7. vaxman says:

    She looks like she smokes to much

  8. Hawkins says:

    No, she’s not nuts, she’s just doing her job, as the President has ordered her to do it.

    I don’t like to politicize everything, but it’s hard not to see this whole Consumer Products Safety Commission disaster as a shining illumination of the Bush administration’s primary purpose, which is to protect large multinational corporations at any expense.

    And when you call them on it, they yell, “Look over there! Homos wanna get married! Family values! Terr’ists! Think of the children!”

  9. “I want to be hiring more safety inspectors and scientists and compliance officers, I don’t want to be hiring lawyers,” Nord said.

    Does the legislation require her to hire lawyers instead of more inspectors? I don’t get it. How does more money and power require her to follow up on trivial stuff?

  10. howie_in_az says:

    Holycrap Pelosi called for someone’s resignation! She actually DID SOMETHING!

  11. bohemian says:

    Have them keep up the heat on this for about 3 weeks and she will decide that she needs to spend more time with her kids and gracefully resign.

    Just like too many Bush appointees her purpose for being there is the exact opposite of the agencies objective. Put and anti-birth control zealot in charge of national family planning funding. Put someone who is dedicated to the interests of manufacturers in charge of regulating them. Therefore utterly hobbling said agency. It causes less attention than totally shutting down a government agency.

    They need to give Congress the ability to force interim appointments for the end of Bush’s term.

  12. alice_bunnie says:


    I agree with you.

  13. ironchef says:

    I’d expect this crap from idiots that Bush hand picked to run the government.

    No surprise.

  14. darkened says:


    Thank you I’m glad one other person sees the only politician ever in our government calling out throw more bureaucracy and more money at the problem will fix everything lie, and then gets lambasted for it. All for “the children.”

  15. marsneedsrabbits says:

    It’s gotten to the point where I’m waiting for the feds to just say “screw consumer safety” and come out with a recommended daily allowance of lead.

  16. OldSpinDoc says:

    There isn’t a executive office appointee in the land that will say they need more money than what was proposed in their appointing power’s budget.

    Even if she sucks, she’s simply following the company line on the budget numbers.

  17. llcooljabe says:

    To her defense, the increase in the penalty cap from 1.8 million to 100 million is a huge jump, and may very well cause the increase that she’s talking about.

    The rest of her comments linked in the original post are idiotic, but this one is understandable.

  18. RvLeshrac says:


    No one necessarily wants to throw more bureaucracy at the problem. But the CPSC needs money to hire inspectors, and the will to actually bother inspecting products for safety.

    This isn’t “regulation,” this is “public health and welfare,” and the CPSC is designed primarily to regulate things like, say, lead paint in toys, and the “Bean Bags o’ Broken Glass” playset.

  19. darkened says:


    They want to throw millions of dollars at the problem and create this consumer hotline that people will call nonstop about anything in this world and then they will need to try to filter it down to actual threats. That sure sounds like alot alot alot of extra bureaucracy to me.

  20. Wirehead says:

    Well, the error in your argument is that if she really thinks that the way they are suggesting is bad, she should be suggesting a good alternative instead of “business as usual”.

  21. MYarms says:

    Our government rocks!

  22. phelander says:

    She sounds like a typical Bushie.

  23. scarletvirtue says:

    @RvLeshrac: “Beanbags o’ Broken Glass playset” – isn’t that what Dan Ackroyd was offering on Saturday Night Live, all those years ago? (I mean, besides the Bass-O-Matic ’76!)

  24. darkened says:


    She did, give her more money to spend on inspectors is all thats needed in her opinion. Seeing she’s the head of the CPSC it sure sounds like her opinion is quite a bit more valuable than congress or ours on that matter!

  25. Flashcard says:

    The head of a public agency sees some flaws in legislation that, would increase litigation in our litigation-crazy society and Pelosi and you sheep call on her to resign. If the legislation is fine – pass it. If not, change it.
    I think checking out a person’s bio is smart before making off-the-wall comments. I don’t believe Nord has ever worked for the industry she regulates. She’s definitely a nonsmoker and was raised in the midwest – the logic center of the United States.
    I don’t know how well she does her job, but calling for a resignation based largely on a critism of legislation is a little strange.
    I watched the early show interview with Nord this morning. I thought she explained her position quite well.
    In reading this you may think I’m a Bush Advocate — NO WAY!!

  26. kimsama says:

    Should we trust a woman who looks like Lucille Bluth to run the CPSC? Although I guess Lucille would take any extra money in a heartbeat…

  27. SOhp101 says:

    @darkened: Do you really think 311 failed in California? It dramatically reduced the number of those pointless calls from clogging all the 911 lines. That is its primary purpose and AFAIK it has succeeded to some degree.

  28. Crymson_77 says:

    1. Pelosi is an idiot, but so is this lady.

    2. The consumer call-in line is simple…outsource it to Canada.

    3. If our government does anything intelligent in the next year (and yes that includes all the stupid ongoing presidential campaigns), just let me know…until then…I’m going to go take a nap…

  29. burgundyyears says:

    Nancy Nord’s not taking it lying down:


  30. mconfoy says:

    @Flashcard: Please, get your facts straight. From the Washington Post article on the Senate hearings on lead in the toys:
    Durbin, with some of the offending toys on the table in front of him, asked why the commission didn’t do more to block lead in children’s jewelry.

    “Well, the law is what it is” was Nord’s brushoff.

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked Nord if she knew what percentage of toys get lead tests.

    “No, I don’t.”

    After much hemming and hawing from Nord about her agency’s ability to stop dangerous toys coming from China, Brownback got cranky: “Chairman, what I want to hear is you say these products are not going to enter our shores if that’s what you continue to find.”

    “Well, I’m happy to say that,” Nord retorted.

    While dismissive of the senators, the acting chairman was solicitous of the manufacturers. She “commended” the industry for its safety initiatives. A toy manufacturer reciprocated, calling Nord’s agency “exemplary.”

    If Nord sounded a bit like a corporate fox guarding the consumer henhouse, consider her previous employers: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Corporate Counsel Association and Eastman Kodak.

    Eight times, Durbin asked whether the Chinese, in an agreement Nord reached with them, had changed their policy on lead. Each time, she rebuffed him, usually with a variation of “You will have to ask the Chinese.”

    After two rounds of questioning, Durbin gave up. “I will ask the Chinese,” he said, mockingly.

    Brownback got a similar response when he asked Nord, five times, if she would like her agency to have the authority to inspect Chinese manufacturing plants. Each time, she answered with a version of a non sequitur: “We don’t have that authority.”

    “Madam Chairman, you’re hearing from us a great deal of frustration,” Brownback informed the reluctant witness. “Now we’re looking at China selling us defective, unsafe products, and we don’t know what’s going on in the factory. And we’re not even sure, from what you’re saying, if they have any level of concern on lead.”

    “Sir, may I respond to that?” Nord asked when Brownback finished.

    “I’d be delighted if you would,” the dentist answered, wearily.

    “I so appreciate hearing your sentiments,” said the patient.

    Somebody must have turned on the nitrous oxide.

  31. BigNutty says:

    I don’t think any of us really know what it’s like to deal with her particular situation. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Can’t please the public and can’t please Washington.

  32. CurbRunner says:

    Only an idiot like Bush would hire another idiot who begs that she’s not up to the task of actually carrying out the job in the face of being offered more money than expect to meet the goals.

  33. mconfoy says:

    @mconfoy: By the way, Flashcard just joined today. Think flashcard works for Nord?

  34. SOhp101 says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: Well there’s something close, Maximum Contaminant Levels, or the MCL of lead. This is by no means a daily recommended allowance, but it’s the most that’s permitted (0.015mg/L).

    Maybe we should give her a stick of lead to suck on.

  35. Rachacha says:

    @cmowire: Actually Nord did make several recomendations available here: [www.cpsc.gov] . Unfortunately congress when drafting the current bill chose not to implement many of the changes that were proposed by CPSC.