Alexander Hoehn-Saric, nominated by President Biden for both a seat on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the chairmanship of that body, was confirmed late Thursday night by a unanimous voice vote. When he takes his oath of office, Hoehn-Saric will be CPSC’s first permanent chair in more than four years.
Fellow Democrat and current Acting Chair Bob Adler’s term expires October 27, but he can hold over for up to a year or until his nominated replacement, Richard Trumka, Jr., is confirmed. Trumka’s nomination cleared the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and is available for a floor vote, but it’s not clear when that will occur (Hoehn-Saric’s vote came without prior notice, so Trumka’s could likewise happen suddenly). Mary Boyle, currently the agency’s Executive Director and a longtime CPSC staffer, has also been nominated for a currently vacant seat, but her nomination has not yet cleared the Senate Commerce Committee.
Republican Commissioners Dana Baiocco and Peter Feldman last week collaborated to use their then-majority to significantly amend the Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Plan. It’s not clear if this maneuver, which brought fierce dissent from Adler and drew the attention of both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, spurred Hoehn-Saric’s confirmation, but for the time being the Commission will operate with two Republicans and two Democrats when he takes the chairmanship.