President Carter reiterated his support for the consumer agency bill yesterday, expressing hopes that he can get it through Congress as early as February.
At a meeting with 16 consumer advocates from around the country at the White House, Carter told them, "You don't have to recruit me to be a consumer advocate." He listened to their views on a wide range of issues, which he said he supports and promised a renewed effort for the agency bill which died in the last session of Congress because its supporters felt the votes weren't there.
"He reiterated his support for the bill, gave a time commitment to talk to members of Congress personally, said that he has seen increasing support for the compromise bill, and said that it's on top of his agenda," summanied Kathleen O'Reilly of the Consumer Federation of America when she emerged from the session.
Consumers Union president Rhoda Karpatkin said Carter said he was discussing a timetable for the passage of the consumer agency bill with congressional leaders.
The bill would give consumers an agency that would finance their representation before other federal agencies in the regulatory process.
According to another participant in the meeting, Carter said he hoped he could get the bill through Congress early, "possibly by the end of February."