Federal bureaucrats graciously choose to let the thrift store industry live.

That title should grate.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has apparently decided that they don’t feel like holding the bag for Nancy Pelosi’s inability to write a functional consumer protection bill:

Officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission initially said that thrift stores couldn’t sell any clothes, toys or other merchandise for children younger than 12 that had not been tested for lead starting Feb. 10, as required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act passed by Congress last year.

Outraged thrift store owners blitzed the commission with objections, and on Tuesday the two-member panel gave preliminary approval of several measures to exempt products made from natural materials, such as cotton and wood, from the rules.


On Thursday the agency backed away even more, issuing a statement saying that “sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits . . . or new toy standards.”

Via Hot Air. Now, before you go ahead and make the welkin ring, keep this in mind: this commission still has the legal power to shut down an entire industry. It is merely choosing not to do so; partially because it recognizes the inherent stupidity of the action, sure – but partially because it’d look bad. They are not saying that they don’t have the authority to regulate thrift stores in the process; they can’t say that, because it’d be a lie. Congress gave them that authority.

Speaking as someone who – unlike, apparently, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid – doesn’t want poor people to be unable to buy clothes and toys for their children, I’d like to know why. Both in the specific case, and in the general one.