Democrats Roast Republicans During Hearing on Gas Stoves

congress-oversight-gas-stove-hearing.jpg House Oversight and Accountability Committee Hearing - Credit: Francis Chung/POLITICO/AP
congress-oversight-gas-stove-hearing.jpg House Oversight and Accountability Committee Hearing - Credit: Francis Chung/POLITICO/AP

The White House and Republican leadership are currently attempting to negotiate a debt-ceiling deal to avoid an economic disaster. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are tackling something far more important: the God-given right to buy a gas stove.

On Wednesday, the Oversight Committee held a hearing titled “Consumer Choice on the Backburner: Examining the Biden Administration’s Regulatory Assault on Americans’ Gas Stoves.” The hearing is part of a convoluted, culture-war-fueled attempt by Republicans to cast proposed efficiency standards for gas stoves as an all-out assault on Americans’ freedom to choose their cooktops.

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If it sounds dumb, it’s because it is. The Consumer Product Safety Commission clarified in January that they have no desire to seize your gas cooking appliances, and Democrats on the committee were quick to point out that the hearing was a ridiculous waste of time given everything else going on.

“I have a six-burner double oven range that sits on legs.  I mean, I miss her right now as we’re talking about it,” joked Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) in a sarcastic critique of Republicans’ priorities. “I want to apologize on behalf of the Democratic Party that we have decided to [prioritize] kids’ safety in their neighborhoods, from getting gunned down in movie theaters or grocery stores, or school churches or synagogues. We as Democrats have clearly lost our way, that we are not focused on appliances.”

“My friends across the aisle are telling those parents that you can breathe a sigh of relief that the Grand Appliance Party is going to make sure your gas stove goes nowhere,” he added. “The good news for you today is that if you have to shut down your business because the country defaults, your gas stove will still be there. And so, you know, I look forward to the legislation of our time, the Appliance Bill of Rights.”

“This proposed rule is not a ban on gas stoves,” declared Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.). “We are regulating indoor air pollution.” Bush pointed to the disproportionate levels of lead exposure and negative environmental impacts experienced by Black residents of her district, telling Republicans that their inaction was “costing us lives.”

Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) drew attention to things that are actually being banned — by Republicans. “It is my hope that Republicans will redirect their focus to the well-being of American people rather than politicizing kitchen appliances,” she said. “You know what they are banning? Abortions. You know what they are banning? Books. You know what they won’t ban? Assault weapons. But we are sitting up here talking about a ban on gas stoves.”

In January, Republicans dived headfirst into “Come and Take It” outrage after CPSC Agency Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in an interview that evidence suggests gas stoves may contribute to poor indoor air quality and childhood asthma. “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” Trumka said. The commission later clarified that a ban was not on the table, but improved safety standards were.

The GOP response to the comment was nothing short of hysterical. “I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!” tweeted Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas). Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) even tweeted his own version of the Battle of Gonzales “Come and Take It” flag stylized to include a gas burner.

Republicans’ response was the subject of mockery, but the fact that it’s now become an issue of congressional focus has left lawmakers exasperated. “This is dangerous and dumb, we have much better things to focus our time on,” Rep. Brown said in the conclusion of her statements to the committee.

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