Gillibrand sent her letter after touring a lightbulb manufacturer in New York that she said is in a position to meet these federal standards. She said that preventing the enforcement of these standards would hurt this company and others, and would also lead to the importation of non-compliant bulbs from China.

"The House provision ... would open the door for unscrupulous foreign businesses to import illegal bulbs into the U.S. market and compete with legally-compliant U.S. manufacturers," she wrote. "This would undercut American manufacturers who have invested millions of dollars in U.S. plants.

"The House provision costs jobs in New York and aids foreign companies."

The House approved the 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations spending bill in June, and that bill, H.R. 5325, includes language that would block enforcement of the federal lightbulb standards. Opponents of the standards say they effectively ban incandescent bulbs by setting standards that these bulbs cannot meet.

While the House approved its version of the bill in June, there has been no action on the Senate version, S. 2465, since the Appropriations Committee reported it out back in April. The Senate has not approved that bill or any other 2013 spending bill so far.