National Consumers League

NCL commends two GOP senators who will oppose Beck nomination to lead consumer safety agency

June 22, 2020

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers (NCL) League greatly appreciates the principled stance of two GOP senators who have stated publicly that they cannot support Dr. Nancy Beck for the Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). One of those senators, Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), holds a critical seat on the committee of jurisdiction over the CPSC. That committee will vote either to send her nomination to the full Senate or not.

“Dr. Nancy Beck’s record as it relates to PFAS chemicals, as well as her responses to my questions and the questions of other senators at yesterday’s Commerce Committee hearing have led me to conclude that she is not the right person to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which heard from Dr. Beck at her nomination hearing this week.

“I do not believe that Dr. Nancy Beck’s views on chemical safety, including on PFAS substances and asbestos, align with the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s mission,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said in a statement.

Republicans currently hold 53 Senate seats. If two more Republicans announce their opposition, the party would lack a majority to confirm Beck, assuming all Democrats and independents who caucus as Democrats oppose her.

PFAS Concerns

Concerns about Beck’s responses on PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) and asbestos were evident during Tuesday’s Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee nomination hearing. Beck promised senators to champion policies “supported by objective and transparent science.”

Beck’s previous position as a political appointee in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and her work for the American Chemistry Council raised concerns.

The Commerce panel won’t schedule a vote on Beck’s nomination for at least two weeks to allow for members to ask additional questions for the record, a Republican committee aide said.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Commerce Committee, also will vote against Beck’s nomination; Cantwell asked Beck a number of probing questions, as did Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

Democrats, environmental, and consumer groups have criticized Beck’s nomination to lead the commission, citing her consistent actions to slow or block banning dangerous chemicals and advancing the interests of the chemical industry.

The following letters were sent to the Senate Commerce Committee’s Chairman Roger Wicker and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, opposing the nomination of Nancy Beck to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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About the National Consumers League (NCL)

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.