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Congress Overturns Light Bulb Ban – Sort Of

From the Washington Times:

Congress overturns incandescent light bulb ban

Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times
Friday, December 16, 2011

Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.

That agreement is tucked inside the massive 1,200-page spending bill that funds the government through the rest of this fiscal year, and which both houses of Congress will vote on Friday. Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, which heads off a looming government shutdown.

Congressional Republicans dropped almost all of the policy restrictions they tried to attach to the bill, but won inclusion of the light bulb provision, which prevents the Obama administration from carrying through a 2007 law that would have set energy efficiency standards that effectively made the traditional light bulb obsolete.

Stopping the bulb ban was a chief GOP priority coming into this year, with all of the candidates seeking to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee saying they would push through a repeal. That bill cleared the House but Democrats blocked its consideration in the Senate.

The spending bill doesn’t actually amend the 2007 law, but does prohibit the administration from spending any money to carry out the light bulb standards — which amounts to at least a temporary reprieve.

Which still sounds a little too vague to us.

This news has gotten very little mention in the mainstream media. Which just shows that even they realize how unpopular this light bulb ban is with middle America.

And when this news has been mentioned, it’s often described as a trade-off for continuing Obama’s loosened travel and money restrictions against Cuba.

Which says a lot about what Democrats see as their priorities, as compared to Republicans. Speaking of which:

The spending bill is full of similar provisions that are included year after year to restrict what administrations can do.

At $915 billion in discretionary spending, the bill amounts to $750.6 million per page, and funds the vast majority of government operations, from defense to homeland security to federal parks. Since it is a must-pass bill, it also becomes a major battleground for policy fights such as the light bulbs.

Among the other policy riders attached to the bill is a requirement that all new federal employees be run through E-Verify, the voluntary government system for checking to see if employees are authorized to work in the U.S.; restrictions on the administration transferring suspected terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S.; and a ban on the District of Columbia using government money to pay for abortions.

The GOP tried but failed to attach restrictions on the Obama administration’s nuclear waste policy,

Which has effectively prevents the building of any more nuclear power plants.

[I]ts international family planning policy and major restrictions on the president’s environmental agenda.

Meaning more job killing EPA restrictions.

Mr. Obama and Democrats also forced Republicans to remove provisions that would have prevented him from requiring government contractors to disclose their political contributions — though they cannot be required to disclose them as part of an application for a loan or grant.

But of course this will still be used to make sure government contracts do not go to Republican donors.

Just keep this list to keep in mind when you hear people say ‘there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.’

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 16th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Congress Overturns Light Bulb Ban – Sort Of”

  1. Astravogel says:

    Looks like someone finally saw the light…

  2. Mithrandir says:

    The House decides how money is spent.

    I don’t understand WHY the Republicans don’t just use this tool to get 100% of everything they want!

    Oh, you don’t want to do XYZ? That’s fine, I guess we just won’t fund the dept. of education, or all your czars, or obamacare.

    This is the ace in the hole, as far as i’m concerned. All negotiations come down to this: “We will get _____ and you won’t get _________ otherwise we will withhold funding for _________.”

    They play this game with countries over foreign aid, with funding for states (how do you think we got a drinking age of 21?) so why not do it for the federal government? Want to end affirmative action? Just stop funding it, or some other sacred cow department. Want a balanced budget, or pay the deficit? Just cut and slash where ever you want….they will come to the table and negotiate.

  3. Anonymoose says:

    Defunding a law is the next best thing to overturning it; it’s not used more often because it would create a huge pile of laws on the books where some work, some don’t, and all it takes is another act of Congress to refund it. It can last a long time, it’s still on the books that the ATF can determine if someone convicted of a felony or otherwise disallowed from owning a gun had rehabilitated themselves and could have their rights restored, but the funding for it was removed in 1993 under Clinton. Say what you will about ex-cons owning firearms (which was rarely granted), Congress will likely never go back and restore the funding.

    I never understood the point to this law about light bulbs in the first place. Congress is so up about the prospect of mercury poisoning that they outlaw mercury batteries (now mostly used in old cameras and a very small market) and yet one of the most common items people have, light bulbs, would be using mercury. The manufacture and recycling costs of those alone would far outweigh the energy savings.

  4. Astravogel says:

    It may be that it was to pander to their eco-freak wing,
    and the stupid Europeans (all the really smart ones
    immigrated here long ago) who now have incandescent
    lights imported from China as “globular heaters” that sell
    for considerably more than WalMart’s 78 cents for 100W
    bulbs. I never did understand why some Americans need
    to ‘suck up’ to the Old Country.

  5. wirenut says:

    Has the cost of manufacture and disposal of CFLs ever been discussed? Compare that and the safe handling of a broken CFL in the home. Common sense says the lowly incandescent shines brightly. Even when its cold.
    CFLs will give lawyers the new asbestos threat to our courts. Thank-you green legislators! Let the market run its self and the LED will come out on top.

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