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House GOP fails to turn off light bulb standards

  • FILE - In this May 18, 2011 file photo, a compact fluorescent light bulb is seen in Philadelphia. Having to buy a squiggly fluorescent light bulb is an affront to personal freedom, some lawmakers are saying as the House decides whether to overturn a law setting new energy-efficiency standards for the bulbs. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Tuesday failed to stop the enactment of new energy-saving standards for light bulbs they portrayed as yet another example of big government interfering in people's lives.

The GOP bill to overturn the standards set to go into effect next year fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage. The vote was 233-193.

For many Republicans, those newfangled curly fluorescent light bulbs were the last straw, pushed by an overreaching government that's forcing people to buy health insurance, prodding them to get more fuel-efficient cars and sticking its nose into too many places.

Their legislation would have kept the marketplace clear for the cheap, energy-wasting bulbs that have changed little since Thomas Edison invented them in 1879.

For most Democrats, it's an exasperating debate that, just like the old incandescent bulbs being crowded out of the market, produces more heat than light.


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