Election Day has come and gone, as the absence of wall-to-wall political ads on TV surely tells us. President Barack Obama has returned to Washington to tend to a tall stack of pressing policy matters on his desk that demand his immediate attention.
While policymakers in D.C are currently focused on keeping the country from falling off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, we want to make sure that the White House doesn't forget about some items sitting on the back burner. These are items that are very important to American consumers.
We strongly urge the President to move forward on four pending measures to make America safer:
Safe Food: A string of deadly food contaminations led to an important law that sets tougher standards to prevent contamination of fruits, vegetables and processed foods. But the first rules to carry out the law are currently under review. To prevent another deadly outbreak, we need the government to speed up this process and allow the rules to take effect.
Safe Wallet: The Dodd-Frank financial reform law has brought about a whole host of improvements, including the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. However, there are some items in the law waiting to be implemented by regulators, such as the Volcker Rule, which restricts banks from making risky investments with their customers' money.
Clean Air: The Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly set to move forward on several rules that are ripe for action. We hope this includes new air-quality standards to reduce the amount of soot released into the air, as well as rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.
Safe Vehicles: Every year, children are injured and killed when drivers don't see them while backing up. The Department of Transportation has been working on a rule to require rearview cameras in new cars and trucks. The deadline for the rule was extended to the end of this year. We're glad this effort is still on track, and we're anxious to see the new rule put in place.
These measures are prepped and ready to go. They just need the administration's help to get over that final hurdle.
And the President isn't the only one with a back burner to tend to. Governors should step up and implement health insurance exchanges so consumers can reap the benefits of the health reform law.
These items need to get the attention they deserve for the betterment and safety of consumers.