Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, September 19, 2011

Get Government Out of Our House

If Congress can't repeal the law that banishes the Edison light bulb and forces us to buy Chinese-made bulbs we don't like, voters will ask, what was the use in electing a Republican House? Not only are the majority of Americans in favor of abolishing that obnoxious law, but even a majority of House members voted to repeal the current law, but that didn't eliminate the ban. That's because the repeal bill was brought up 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. Thanks to Rep. Michael Burgess, the House subsequently passed an amendment to another bill to deny funding to carry out the ban. However, that's only effective for one year, 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 on Edison light bulbs gave General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt the excuse to close G.E.'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 Chinese bulbs can be imported to sell in the U.S. for higher prices. President Obama rewarded Mr. Immelt by naming him his Jobs Czar. G.E. then announced its plan to send more American jobs to China by moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business 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 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 ten-step clean-up and be a danger to kids and pets.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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