Late this afternoon it was confirmed that Commissioner Bob Adler was elected Vice-Chairman of the CPSC. Because there is no permanent CPSC Chairman at this time, Commissioner Adler will become the Acting Chairman of the agency until a permanent Chairman is confirmed. Commissioner Adler—a Democratic Commissioner—has served on the Commission since 2009.
Commissioner Adler was chosen by majority vote of his fellow Commissioners. The election of a Democratic Acting Chairman is a surprising choice for a Republican majority Commission. Commissioner Adler won the support of the present Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle to secure a majority vote of the Commission. He will replace Acting Chairman Buerkle on October 1st. Acting Chairman Buerkle will be leaving the agency at the end of her term on October 27th.
Buerkle explained her decision to vote for Adler in a statement on Friday that emphasized Adler's experience at the Commission. She stated "I think it is important that the temporary caretaker for the agency be the most experienced, most senior commissioner who has previously served in this role. This interim selection will keep the agency on course while the White House determines and nominates a new candidate for chairman." Buerkle ended her statement by noting "[c]onsumer protection is not political."
Upon Acting Chairman Buerkle’s departure in October, the Commission will have two Republican and two Democratic Commissioners, ending the current Republican majority less than a year after it began. The Trump administration will need to select a nominee to fill Buerkle’s seat on the Commission with a term ending in October 2025. The nominee could also be nominated to become the permanent Chairman of the agency or the Trump administration could consider Commissioners Feldman or Baiocco for the position.
Despite the upcoming election year, the Trump administration seems prepared to put forth a nominee to swing the Commission’s majority back to the Republicans. Now, with a Democratic Acting Chairman, one can only assume the Trump administration will hope it can get a nominee confirmed sooner rather than later.
We will keep our readers updated as we learn more over the next few months.
Member / Co-chair, Retail and Consumer Products
Chuck is an antitrust and regulatory lawyer who devotes a significant portion of his practice to assisting clients with consumer product safety and environmental regulations. He serves as general counsel to numerous trade associations. For the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Chuck negotiated and drafted amendments to federal laws, including the Consumer Product Safety Act. Corporations in many industries, local governments, and state agencies are also on his client roster. He represents clients before a wide array of federal agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), state agencies, and international regulatory organizations.
Chuck is engaged in a federal and international regulatory and legislative practice. He has been extensively involved in product safety, product recall issues, environmental, tax, health care, technology, and energy issues, and public finance legislative and regulatory matters for a variety of trade associations, corporations, local governments, and state agencies.
His practice encompasses work before the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Energy, and Treasury, US Trade Representative, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, the IRS, and other federal and state agencies. He also has extensive experience dealing with Canada, the European Commission, and international bodies.
Chuck also engages in trade association representation and antitrust counseling. As general counsel of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Chuck negotiated and drafted the amendments to the Consumer Product Safety Act and the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, and represents the appliance industry at international bodies dealing with safety, energy, ozone depletion, and global warming.
Before joining Mintz, Chuck practiced regulatory law with a law firm in Chicago and then worked in the Executive Office of the President before entering private practice in Washington.