WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved two bills nullifying Energy Department efficiency standards for refrigerators and dishwashers.

Republicans called the Biden administration rules expensive and impractical. Democrats defended them as a way for consumers to save money and reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

A bill by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa would curtail Energy Department rules on refrigerators. A separate measure by New York Rep. Nick Langworthy would bar the administration from implementing or enforcing new efficiency rules if they are not “cost-effective or technologically feasible” and result in significant energy conservation.

The refrigerator bill was approved, 212-192. The dishwasher measure was adopted, 214-192. Both bills now go to the Senate.

The White House said it strongly opposes both measures, but stopped short of a veto threat .

The bills include “vague” and misleading language that “would add uncertainty to the implementation of these (efficiency) standards and create unnecessary hurdles for DOE in making future updates,’' the White House said.

Langworthy said his bill, Stop Unaffordable Dishwasher Standards, or SUDS Act, would “put the brakes on the Biden administration’s relentless assault on efficient, affordable and reliable appliances for everyday Americans through overbearing regulations.’'

New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said instead of lowering cost, the proposals would increase home energy bills for families.

Rep. Katie Porter, D-California, said many Republicans who back the appliance measures don’t know how dishwashers work or how much they cost.

She asked if colleagues know how much it costs per month to run an average dishwasher. When no one replied, Porter answered her own question, saying typical cost is $2 to $4. “In other words, about one-third of a frappuccino,’' she said.

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