Congressman Chuck Fleischmann announced today that the Weatherization Assistance Program received the most votes during his week leading the YouCut program.
"The Obama Administration irresponsibly funded this wasteful program at an extravagant $5 billion in the President's 2009 stimulus, and has failed to ensure that these funds are managed appropriately. This program is not only duplicative, but has suffered from fraud and abuse in recent years. Eliminating this flawed program would be a positive step in getting our fiscal house in order," Fleischmann said.
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program was originally created in the 1970's. However, other federal programs, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), are already in place to assist low-income households in managing energy costs.
In December 2010, the Tennessee Comptroller General's office released a review of the program citing that weatherization contractors had, in nearly half of the cases studied, failed to implement critically recommended measures to properly weatherize homes. The review also noted that funds for the program were used for other assistance measures that had nothing to do with weatherization.
The Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Energy also conducted a review of this program concluding that weatherization work on homes was poorly administered and led to potentially harmful effects for home inhabitants. The State of Delaware actually suspended their weatherization program due to "fraud and mismanagement".
Elimination of this program would save roughly $2.1 billion over ten years. Congressman Fleischmann will be introducing legislation in the near future to eliminate the Weatherization Assistance Program.