House pushes $50 million to protect consumers from dangerous imports after USA TODAY investigative report

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House pushes $50 million to protect consumers from dangerous imports after USA TODAY investigative report

The U.S. House of Representatives aims to set aside $50 million for increased safety screenings of toys and consumer products at U.S. ports after a

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The U.S. House of Representatives aims to set aside $50 million for increased safety screenings of toys and consumer products at U.S. ports after a USA TODAY investigation exposed a plunge in inspections for hazards such as lead and choking dangers during the pandemic. 

The spending proposal passed on Friday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee is a significant cash infusion for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, whose annual budget last year was $133 million.  

The legislation marks the second round of Congressional scrutiny of the agency’s decision to send home its port inspectors for nearly six months last year due to the threat of COVID-19. 

The agency made the decision in private and had kept the fallout hidden from Congress and the public until USA TODAY obtained internal documents revealing the extraordinary safety lapse, which coincided with the height of the holiday import season. Tens of thousands of shipments containing toys – from princess palaces to water guns – and other goods from overseas reached store shelves and American homes without standard screenings. 

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