Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2015

Democrats Want Jail Time for Corporate Executives Hiding Safety Risks


GM CEO Mary Barra is sworn in to a Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of Democratic senators wants corporate officers to risk jail time for concealing safety threats from the public and government regulators.

The legislation comes as part of the ongoing fallout from General Motors’ faulty ignition switches, during what’s looking to be a difficult week in the Senate for the auto giant.

On Wednesday, Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania unveiled new legislation designed to provide for prison time for corporate executives who knowingly conceal risks of serious injury or death as a result of their products. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is also involved in the effort.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will chair a Commerce subcommittee hearing Thursday to review the response to the ignition switches. Witnesses include Kenneth Feinberg, who has announced the compensation plan for victims of the defect. In addition, top executives from GM and Delphi are scheduled to appear.

Casey opened his remarks by highlighting Blumenthal’s long record of advocacy on consumer protection during his long tenure as Connecticut’s state attorney general.

“What this legislation will do, among other things, is to impose a measure of accountability which we shouldn’t have to impose. They should do this on their own,” Casey said. “They shouldn’t conceal. They shouldn’t sit on information for weeks or months or sometimes decades.”

“We’re talking here not only about GM, but about other companies in very recent years, including Toyota, Vioxx, Simplicity cribs, various — a list that we could give you of corporate cover-ups and other kinds of defects that have not been disclosed,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal noted that criminal punishments could not be imposed retroactively, but he expressed a hope that the Justice Department will seek to use existing law to bring charges where warranted.

Asked about another type of business practice: the concealing of health risks, Blumenthal said the legislation would also apply to cases like cigarette manufacturers.

“As you know, the tobacco companies did studies and research and tests that showed in fact that they were causing cancer and other diseases. They denied it, publicly,” Blumenthal said. “That kind of concealment would also be covered by this law.”

“The punishments under this law would be significant. Five years in prison for each violation.

Comments (30)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    10:31 a.m.

    You are a very intelligent person!

  2. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:39 a.m.

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  3. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    3:34 p.m.

    Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  4. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    4:20 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly love reading everything that is posted on your website.Keep the tips coming. I loved it!

  5. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    3:17 a.m.

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  6. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    10:58 a.m.

    I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “Her grandmother, as she gets older, is not fading but rather becoming more concentrated.” by Paulette Bates Alden.

  7. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    6:14 a.m.

    Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  8. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    7:41 a.m.

    It is truly a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:16 a.m.

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information specially the last part :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  10. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:35 a.m.

    As a Newbie, I am permanently browsing online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:17 p.m.

    Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  12. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:34 a.m.

    Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

  13. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:43 a.m.

    hey there and thank you in your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here. I did then again experience some technical points the usage of this web site, as I experienced to reload the web site lots of instances prior to I may just get it to load correctly. I have been brooding about in case your web hosting is OK? No longer that I am complaining, however sluggish loading instances instances will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality rating if ads and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Well I’m including this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you update this again soon..

  14. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:14 p.m.

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  15. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    11:53 p.m.

    I just could not depart your site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts

  16. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    10:36 a.m.

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  17. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    6:10 p.m.

    I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to do not forget this site and give it a look on a constant basis.

  18. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    12:59 p.m.

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:05 a.m.

    Wow, wonderful weblog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The total glance of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:51 a.m.

    I conceive you have remarked some very interesting points, regards for the post.

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    2:06 a.m.

    A lot of the things you state is supprisingly appropriate and it makes me wonder the reason why I had not looked at this in this light before. Your article really did switch the light on for me personally as far as this issue goes. Nevertheless there is actually 1 issue I am not too cozy with and whilst I try to reconcile that with the central theme of your position, permit me observe exactly what the rest of your subscribers have to say.Well done.

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:53 a.m.

    certainly like your website but you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality on the other hand I will certainly come back again.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    5:38 p.m.

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    5:50 p.m.

    I just like the helpful info you supply in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and test once more right here regularly. I am slightly sure I will learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    12:25 a.m.

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    11:43 a.m.

    Im no longer certain where you are getting your information, however great topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    1:20 p.m.

    Great – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    7:01 a.m.

    Generally I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    9:27 a.m.

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    1:08 a.m.

    This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...