This article is from the archive of our partner .

In case you missed this amidst the more sensational phone hacking news: yesterday, Republicans failed to grant Americans the freedom to buy inefficient light bulbs. At issue was the repeal of a  law already on the books that requires light bulbs to meet certain efficiency standards. What kept the bill from advancing to the Senate was that the legislation needed a two thirds majority to ensure passage. As Politico reported, it didn't get there due in part to a little prodding from Pelosi:

A majority of members--233--supported the repeal, including five Democrats. Ten Republicans joined 183 Democrats opposing the measure. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi personally whipped Democratic Caucus members to vote against the bill, a Democratic aide told POLITICO.

Republicans who supported a repeal of the energy efficiency legislation (and had framed the vote as a matter of government overreach) were none to pleased at the result.  Joe Barton, the GOP House member who proposed the bill, was quoted by The New York Times as grumbling: "The federal government has crept so deep into our lives that federal agencies now determine what kind of light bulbs the American people are allowed to purchase."
 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.