News Section: National Government
Chinese Drywall Legislation Passes House
“Contaminated Drywall Safety Act” Offers Legal Remedies for Victims
BRADENTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, (R-FL), co-sponsored legislation that passed the U.S. House Wednesday night, which would ban the sale of toxic Chinese drywall and offer relief to thousands of Florida homeowners who've been victims of its use. The Contaminated Drywall Safety Act makes Chinese-manufactured drywall a banned hazardous material under the Consumer Product Safety Act, meaning it cannot be imported into the U.S., and requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue guidelines to ensure that existing drywall is properly disposed of.
The bill, which passed the House and now goes on to the Senate for consideration, also calls on the Secretary of State to demand that Chinese manufacturers comply with any legal decisions and remedies for affected American homeowners.
“Many of my constituents devoted their life savings to buying a house only to find out their home is now uninhabitable because it was built with tainted drywall from China,” Buchanan said. “This legislation holds the Chinese manufacturers accountable and will deliver justice to American homeowners and their families.”
Tainted drywall from China has damaged or destroyed over 100,000 homes across the country, including over 36,000 Florida homes. The state of Florida makes up 56% of the cases reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission nationwide.
“The damage to homes and the negative health effects caused by the tainted Chinese drywall, have forced many families to use their limited finances on costly repairs and alternative housing while also having to maintain mortgages on homes that are uninhabitable,” said Buchanan. “In an already poor economy, some homeowners have faced bankruptcy, foreclosure, or both.”
Buchanan is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan bill introduced by Congressmen Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, and Rob Wittman of Virginia. Other original cosponsors include U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alcee L. Hastings, Mario Diaz-Balart, Corrine Brown, and Bill Posey of Florida.
Buchanan is also a member of the Congressional Chinese Drywall Caucus, which is involved in several efforts to deal with the Chinese drywall crisis. The Congressmen is also Florida’s only member on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees international trade.