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Sen. Marsha Blackburn's 'Washing Machine' Claim Sparks Avalanche of Jokes

Newsweek 3/16/2023 Ewan Palmer
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-WV) questions Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, former head of security at Twitter, during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on data security at Twitter, on Capitol Hill, September 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-WV) questions Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, former head of security at Twitter, during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on data security at Twitter, on Capitol Hill, September 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn has been mocked online over a video in which she attacked the Biden administration's proposal to make washing machines more efficient.

On Wednesday, Blackburn uploaded a video on Twitter speaking out against the Department of Energy's plans to ensure new washing machines use less water to help battle against climate change.

The DoE has said that changes to appliances such as clothes washers and refrigerators could save American consumers $3.5 billion per year on their energy and water bills.

Manufacturers have said that the changes would mean each cycle will take longer, the detergent will cost more, and clothes would be less clean, reported The Washington Free Beacon.

However, others have suggested the outrage is manufactured, including Blackburn's claim that people will not be able to use the washing machine they have. Critics say it is misleading, like the previous Republican claim that the Biden administration was coming for people's gas stoves.

"I think if you like your washing machine, you should be able to keep your washing machine," Blackburn said. "Now we are hearing the Biden administration are wanting to make washing machines less efficient, use a different detergent that's new, gonna cost you more, and your clothes won't be as clean."

In response, a number of Twitter users have criticized Blackburn for attacking the appliance-efficiency proposals.

"Democrats want to take away your laundry soap so that you'll be stinky and then they can call you stinky. Sign my bill," wrote Twitter user @possessher.

Social-media user @Woofkoof posted in reply to Blackburn's tweet: "Yes, Marsha! The washing machine confiscation squad and clean clothes prohibition laws have been keeping me awake too, Marsha."

Another Twitter user mockingly wrote that Blackburn is "stuck on the spin cycle" over her washing-machine comments.

Others questioned why Blackburn is trying to drum up anger about washing-machine efficiency rather than focus on other issues.

"This Senator of the United States of America has nothing better to do than to attack POTUS about the efficiency of washing machines," one Twitter user wrote. "'The World's Greatest Deliberative Body' is being disgraced and demeaned. Is this the America you want to live in? America First? Humiliating."

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Twitter user @estein101 added: "Marsha, good to see you're on the important stuff that really matters to Americans right now."

Travis Fisher is a senior research fellow at Heritage Foundation's Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment. He queried whether the DoE's plans to raise the efficiency standard would help the average American have money on their bills if they need to put more cycles on because of it.

"When you're squeezing all you can out of efficiency in terms of electricity use and water ... you by definition either make the appliance worse or slower," Fisher told the Free Beacon. "Why are we so focused on the energy output, as opposed to if it's helping me wash my clothes?

"That standard has kind of gone off the rails," Fisher added.

A DoE spokesperson has dismissed the criticism that its proposals have received.

"Despite misleading claims to the contrary, these proposals are intended for nothing more than promoting innovation and keeping money in the pockets of Americans everywhere without sacrificing the reliability and performance that consumers expect and rely on," a DoE spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

"As evidenced in the Department's testing and analysis, the proposed standards would not reduce product performance or negatively impact cleaning ability or cycle time."

Newsweek has emailed Blackburn for comment.

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