That's because Speaker John Boehner unexpectedly brought up the repeal on July 12 under a rule that required a two-thirds majority, and the vote tally of 233 for repeal to 193 against didn't meet that requirement. While the ban on Edison light bulbs was passed before Barack Obama became president, we can blame him and his Energy Secretary Steven Chu for lobbying strongly against its repeal, and blame Nancy Pelosi for getting all but five Democrats to vote no.
Thanks to Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, the House subsequently passed an amendment to the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act to deny funding to the Department of Energy to implement the ban. That's only effective for one year, however, so we still need to repeal the ban.
This issue not only involves Americans' freedom of choice to use the most popular and important of all American inventions, but it's also a matter of jobs. The ban gave General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt the excuse to close GE's U.S. light-bulb manufacturing plants, lay off hundreds of well-paid U.S. employees and open his plants in communist China, where wages are low and the new bulbs can be imported to sell in the U.S. for higher prices.
President Obama rewarded Immelt by naming him his jobs czar. GE then announced its plan to send more American jobs to China by moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business, responsible for magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac tomography, from Wisconsin to Beijing.
Banning the Edison light bulb doesn't even make sense in terms of environmental arguments. The new Chinese-made compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) give off less light (so we'll have to use more of them) and contain poisonous mercury, so that if we drop and break one, it will require a 10-step cleanup and be a danger to kids and pets.
Obama is moving right ahead with his effort to drive us into a nanny state. He said his energy policies will cause our electric bills to "skyrocket" (will they be controlled by the smart meters already being installed in some sections of the country?), and he warned we can no longer set our thermostats at 72 degrees.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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