Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel accused the House GOP majority of wasting time on an ideological agenda, while the country teeters on the edge of economic catastrophe, by voting on light bulb legislation.

“This is the same GOP which promised a laser intensity on job creation during the last election but in the six months since has not voted on one jobs bill. Now they want to vote on light bulbs,” said Rep. Engel.

Instead of acting to create jobs and strengthen our economy, House Republicans  voted on a bill (H.R. 2417) to repeal bipartisan energy efficiency standards signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007 that will save American families and small businesses billions per year in lower electricity costs. The Tuesday vote was 233 to 167, but the bill failed because it needed to pass by a 2/3rd vote.

The GOP has been in charge for 188 days and still hasn’t passed a single jobs bill, or even presented a single jobs bill. This week is no different: Republicans while ignoring Americans’ top priority of jobs, instead are turning off the lights on energy efficiency, and asking American consumers to foot the bill.

Contrary to what they say, there is no ban on incandescent bulbs. The standards passed as part of the landmark 2007 energy law call for incandescent bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient beginning in 2012. Already several manufacturers - including Philips, GE, and Osram Sylvania - are already making new and improved energy-efficient incandescent bulbs, some here in America. Those bulbs look and work just like the 125-year-old Edison bulb and that are saving consumers on their utility bills.

The repeal is opposed by consumer groups, utilities, the industry, the Obama Administration, unions, and environmental groups – including Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, American Lighting Association, Business Council for Sustainable Energy,  National Association of Energy Service Companies, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Philips Electronics, United Technologies Corporation, United Steelworkers, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, and Natural Resources Defense Fund. 

“While our country is on the verge of economic collapse by failing to raise the debt ceiling, this lightbulb legislation is the dimmest of ideas,” said Rep. Engel.