Nanny State Wins: Light Bulb Ban Repeal Fails in House

-By Warner Todd Huston

If the House Republicans can’t even get rid of one of the most odious examples of nanny statism in the age of Obama, what exactly are they worth? On Tuesday, Rep. Joe Barton (R, Texas) failed in his effort to repeal the incandescent light bulb ban idiotically signed into law by Nanny G.W. Bush.

Barton failed with his The Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act (HR 2417)on a 233-193 vote. A two-thirds majority was needed for passage.

Only five Democrats crossed ideological lines to vote in favor of the bill to repeal the idiotic light bulb ban. Worse, ten Republicans joined the Democrats.

The bill would have repealed a portion of the 2007 energy law that requires a 30 percent increase in efficiency in light bulbs. This, its supporters claim, makes it no “ban” of light bulbs.

The fact is, though, the incandescent-style bulb cannot be improved 30 percent and that means the bulbs would become illegal. It is a defacto ban whether the law states it directly or not. This sort of nanny statism is what offends anyone who is a true American.

In fact, this little bill is the best example of the sort of nanny statism that freedom-loving Americans are incensed by. The repeal should have easily been passed but the GOP could not muster the votes to do it and, worse, didn’t even hold their own caucus in line.

The ten Republicans that have to answer for their votes are as follows:

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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