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Biden nominates Rich Trumka Jr. to fill safety regulator seat

President Biden on Tuesday nominated Rich Trumka Jr., a Capitol Hill attorney focused on consumer policy and the son of a powerful labor union leader, to a seat on the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency that regulates more than 15,000 everyday products.

Trumka’s nomination comes days after Biden added two other names to the CPSC nomination rolls. Those two commission seats would go to Alexander Hoehn-Saric, chief counsel for communications and consumer protection for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Mary Boyle, executive director of the CPSC. Hoehn-Saric is also nominated to lead the CPSC as chairman.

Trumka is an attorney for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, along with the economic and consumer policy subcommittee. He also spent more than three years as a Maryland assistant attorney general in the consumer protection division. His father, Richard Trumka, is the president of the AFL-CIO.

The three new nominations would fill the positions of two commissioners whose seven-year terms are expiring and one vacancy. If the Senate confirms them all, the CPSC would have a full slate of five commissioners for the first time since late 2019.

The agency typically has five commissioners, with the president’s political party enjoying a 3-2 advantage. But operations at the CPSC have not been typical in a while.

In 2019, President Donald Trump nominated then-acting agency chairwoman Ann Marie Buerkle to another extended term. But the Republican-controlled Senate never took action. She decided to withdraw her nomination.

But before Buerkle left, she threw her support behind longtime Democratic commissioner Robert Adler to take over as agency chairman, spurning her Republican colleagues.

Trump had the opportunity to fill a vacant seat at the CPSC in March 2020 when he nominated a former chemical industry executive who pushed to relax rules on toxic chemicals at the Environmental Protection Agency.

But consumer groups lined up to oppose the potential nomination of Nancy Beck. She was never confirmed.