February 10, 2011

Buerkle Shining Brightly?

A recent article in my local newspaper highlighted Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), who co-sponsored a bill that seeks to allow consumers to continue purchasing incandescent light bulbs, which are to be phased out beginning next year. The phase-out comes from the Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in 2007 during the Bush administration. The bill she co-sponsored is called BULB, or Better Use of Light Bulbs. Not sure where the ‘better use’ comes in, but the name is way cooler than EISA. 

The issue with the bulbs, from Buerkle’s perspective, is that choice is being taken away from those who prefer the old bulbs, and that the government shouldn’t tell us what light bulbs to use. In addition, the Reps in the House are adamant about getting rid of regulations that they feel cost us jobs, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (which they refer to as the Jobs-Killing Health Care Law), which was the highest priority in January.

Regarding BULB, Buerkle indicated “I think the biggest issue with this bill is what it does for jobs.” She adds “If we’re talking about creating jobs and getting our economy back on track, that’s a big piece.” 

The House is insisting that every bill include a reference to what portion of the Constitution authorizes the legislation. That, coupled with their ‘jobs is job one’ prioritization lead me to suggest that in addition to including the constitutionality, they should include the number of jobs that will be created as a result of the bills they pass.

Buerkle also “has been reluctant” , according to the article, to define which regulations she feels should be off-limits from review by the new Congress. Asked whether regs tied to health, the environment or safety should be excluded, she responded (and I’m not making this up) “The key here is not what I think – it’s what the business owners think.” Seriously? “I tell them that Darrell Issa (R-CA, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Regulation) has charged us to go out and talk to people about what regulations are impeding their success.” 

So that brings me to my second question: Can you remember a time when a newly elected representative so quickly abandoned any pretense of thinking for herself?

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