Ann Marie Buerkle, an Auburn native and former congresswoman, has been renominated by President Donald Trump to chair the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The White House announced the renomination Monday. The U.S. Senate must confirm Buerkle's nomination to lead the panel and her reappointment to a seven-year term as a commissioner.
Trump's action was necessary after the Senate returned Buerkle's nomination in December. The Senate typically carries over presidential nominations from one year to the next unless at least one senator objects. Buerkle's nomination was one of roughly 100 returned by the Senate in late December.
It's unknown which senator opposed Buerkle's nomination to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a five-member panel responsible for regulating children's toys, off-road vehicles and thousands of other consumer products.
Buerkle faced criticism at her confirmation hearing in September from Democratic senators concerned about her position on the regulation of portable generators. She supports a voluntary standard instead of a mandatory standard for the agency.
Some consumer groups oppose Buerkle's nomination to lead the commission. Remington Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen, questioned in December whether Buerkle believes in the agency's mission.
"We feel so strongly that she is the wrong person to lead this commission," Gregg said.
But Trump isn't budging. Buerkle remains his preferred choice to chair the panel.
Buerkle was born and raised in Auburn. She began working as a nurse before earning her law degree from Syracuse University. She was an assistant New York state attorney general for 12 years. In 2010, she left her position to run for Congress.
A Republican, she challenged U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat, and pulled off a surprising upset win. Her margin of victory was 648 votes.
She served one term in Congress. When she ran for re-election in 2012, Maffei defeated her in a rematch.
Not long after leaving Congress in 2013, Buerkle was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a seat on the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Buerkle was named acting chair in February 2017 after Trump became president. Trump first nominated her for chair and a full-seven year term in July.
"After having worked here for four years, I know the issues and I've developed a relationship with the stakeholders," Buerkle said in a phone interview with The Citizen last year. " I think part of that was what led to the nomination and I've had tremendous support from my colleagues here on both sides of the aisle, which I'm also very grateful for that."
The White House also announced Monday that Trump has renominated Dana Baiocco to a seven-year term on the commission. If confirmed, Baiocco would join Buerkle as a Republican commissioner on the panel. For now, Buerkle is the agency's lone GOP commissioner.