It would seem that we may not get to keep our nice incandescent light bulbs after all.
House Democrats on Monday indicated strong opposition to a controversial bill to repeal federal lightbulb standards, which could lead to the defeat of the measure in an expected Tuesday vote.
The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, H.R. 2417 would end federal bulb standards passed in 2007 that Republicans have since held up as a prime example of federal overreach. House Republicans brought up the bill under a suspension of the rules, which requires two-thirds of voting members to support it.
That means even though a majority might support it, it is unlikely to be approved Tuesday in light of Democratic opposition.
Suspension votes are generally reserved for non-controversial bills, although this is not the first time Republicans have risked failure by putting a bill on the suspension calendar. In February, for example, the House rejected two bills in this manner — one instructing the Obama administration to seek repayment from the United Nations, and other to extend Patriot Act surveillance authorities.
During Monday’s debate on the lightbulb bill, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and other Republicans said federal standards will have the effect of banning incandescent bulbs next year, since they will be unable to meet energy standards that take effect then. Barton said this is a problem because compact fluorescent bulbs and others than can meet the standards are several times more expensive.
Do the Democrats really even want to win next year’s elections? The ban on incandescent light bulbs is virtually a symbol of the over-aggressive, intrusive, nanny-state government that most Americans detest. I can’t imagine why they would want to give the Republicans this issue to run on.
By the way, I still hate the squiggly compact fluorescent light bulbs.