Lightbulb bill probably going down to defeat in House
While a majority probably support repealing federal lightbulb standards, the rule by which Republicans brought the bill to the floor - requiring two thirds support - means the measure will probably die.
The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, H.R. 2417 would end federal bulb standards passed in 2007 that Republicans have since held up as a prime example of federal overreach. House Republicans brought up the bill under a suspension of the rules, which requires two-thirds of voting members to support it.
That means even though a majority might support it, it is unlikely to be approved Tuesday in light of Democratic opposition.
Suspension votes are generally reserved for non-controversial bills, although this is not the first time Republicans have risked failure by putting a bill on the suspension calendar. In February, for example, the House rejected two bills in this manner -- one instructing the Obama administration to seek repayment from the United Nations, and other to extend Patriot Act surveillance authorities.
During Monday's debate on the lightbulb bill, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and other Republicans said federal standards will have the effect of banning incandescent bulbs next year, since they will be unable to meet energy standards that take effect then. Barton said this is a problem because compact fluorescent bulbs and others than can meet the standards are several times more expensive.
Several states have passed laws or are considering measures that would allow incandescent bulbs manufactured within their states to be sold. But it is unclear if those laws would stand up to a court challenge. Meanwhile, there is a possibility this bill could resurface later in the year.