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July 12, 2011

In Non-Debt News...The House Fail To Pass Light Bulb Freedom Act*

Maybe if we ate our peas we could have the light bulbs of our choice.

The Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), failed on a 233-193 vote, with a two-thirds majority needed for passage.

The vote fell mostly along party lines, but five Democrats voted in favor of the bill and 10 Republicans voted against the bill. One Republican voted "present."


Yet the light bulb efficiency standards haven’t always been this controversial.

In fact, raising light bulb standards won significant bipartisan support in 2007 and was signed into law by President George W. Bush as part of sweeping energy legislation.

Current House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) co-sponsored the light bulb efficiency language, and came under fire during his campaign for the Energy panel chairmanship over his past support for higher standards.

Upton now has changed his tune. He worked behind the scenes with Barton on a new version of the bill introduced last week, and voted in favor of the legislation Tuesday.

I have no idea why they would bring this up on the Suspension Calendar which requires 2/3 support. Maybe they want the Democrats to own killing it? That seems unlikely since when you are in the majority you are responsible for passing things.

Sure it might have died in the Senate but then we'd have an issue that everyone gets to beat the Democrats with.

Roll call vote is here.

(Added: The GOP "No" votes here and here)

Meanwhile, the Republican/crazy tea party controlled House did manage to continue the federal government's flood insurance program.

The House on Tuesday evening easily approved the Flood Insurance Reform Act, a bill that enjoyed rare bipartisan support even though it could result in higher flood insurance premiums at a time of significant flooding in the middle of the country.

The bill, H.R. 1309, was approved in a 406-22 vote; most of the "no" votes were Republican members.

Several members of both parties agreed that a top priority of the bill is eliminating the red ink that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has generated over the past several decades. Members noted that the NFIP is nearly $18 billion in debt, and spoke in favor of the bill that would require the phasing in of actuarially sound rates for flood insurance policies, and phasing out taxpayer subsidized rates.

Reform and phase out are nice but terminating programs is better.

I'm pretty sure Republicans have been pretty much against government insurance programs while supporting private sector options in other areas. Maybe I remember that wrong.

Seriously, if the GOP can't get this stuff right, the hopes of getting something as gigantic as the debt ceiling even remotely right is depressingly low.

*That's not actually the name of the bill but it should be.

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posted by DrewM. at 07:46 PM

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