Lights Back On?

by Henry Payne

House Republicans have flipped another switch and re-introduced their bid to restore consumer choice in light bulbs.

“The House appears likely on Friday to accept an amendment to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act that would deny funding for the implementation of funds to implement a 2007 law that Republicans say will ban incandescent light bulbs,” reports The Hill (I love the Washington-speak “Republicans say” casting doubt on those goofy GOPers as if the evidence of bulb factories shutting down and bulbs disappearing from store shelves isn’t enough).

The bill follows through on Michigan Rep. Fred Upton’s promise to fight the fight after Democrats — in a nearly straight partisan vote — elected not to repeal the ban in a stand-alone bill earlier this week. Rep. Michael Burgess (R., Texas), who co-sponsored the earlier bill with fellow Texan Joe Barton, proposed the amendment.

“The federal government has no right to tell me or any other citizen what type of light bulb to use at home,” Burgess said.

Unlike the earlier bill — brought to the floor under “suspension” rules requiring a two-thirds vote — the amendment needs only a simple majority, which the GOP has. Once again, Democrats will be on record denying the choice of 85 percent of Americans. The bill would have passed on a voice vote Thursday night, but Burgess insisted on a roll call today.

Can you say campaign issue? Forget the debt ceiling — this issue illustrates the gulf between freedom-loving party and the nanny-state party in a way that every voter can understand.