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Home Star Energy Retrofit Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BOEHNER. Let me thank my colleague for yielding and remind my colleagues that once again we're debating the Cash for Caulkers bill. We are going to weatherize homes around America, and we're going to put Americans back to work once again. The only problem is that we spent almost $5 billion in the stimulus bill 15 months ago, the States are awash in weatherization funds, and a lot of the money that has been spent has gone to crooked contractors, shoddy work, and there are investigations going on all over the country. But in spite of all of the evidence that this plan is not really working, we're going to authorize $6.6 billion of money that we don't have so that we can caulk homes.

Now, I think it's a good idea to caulk your home, to weatherize your home, to make our homes more energy efficient; but we have to remember something: 43 cents of every dollar the Federal Government spends this year we're going to borrow. And guess who gets to pay that money back? It's going to be our kids and our grandkids.

The gentleman from Massachusetts is suggesting that we ought to pass this bill, continue this Cash for Caulkers program, and then send the bill to our kids and grandkids. Count me out.

Mr. MARKEY of Massachusetts. Madam Chair, I yield myself 1 minute.

The point here is that what the United States, over the years, has done is to not properly focus upon the things that we can do in order to avoid ever having to import oil from Saudi Arabia, from OPEC. The smartest way to do that is to put in place programs that have the most efficient air conditioners, the most efficient heating systems, the most efficient windows, the most efficient devices that consumers can use in order to reduce their energy bills, reduce the need for us to import energy from overseas, to improve our own American self-sufficiency, and to pass on to the next generation a country that is using our technological genius. That's who we are.

The United States only has 2 percent of the oil reserves in the world; that's our Achilles' heel. Our strength is that we are a technological giant. When we apply our technological genius, we solve problems.

Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from the State of California (Mr. McNerney).

Mr. McNERNEY. Madam Chair, I rise today as a proud cosponsor of H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010. And I want to offer a warm congratulations for my good friend and colleague, PETER WELCH, who has shown a tremendous amount of leadership on this issue.

Basically, what H.R. 5019 does is provide incentives for consumers to invest in energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. This is going to create many, many jobs, it's going to create new businesses, it's going to save greenhouse gas emissions, it's going to help homeowners on their energy bills.

I am pleased that an amendment that I offered in the committee to H.R. 5019 was accepted. Basically, what that does is it allows the business community to have confidence that they will get their reimbursement within 30 days, that the DOE will handle that reimbursement within 10 days. So I urge my colleagues to support the Home Star bill.

Mr. MARKEY of Massachusetts. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch).

Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman.

Two things: one, the concern about weatherization versus this program. This is different. It is a direct engagement by the homeowner. They make the decision, and then they go to the existing infrastructure of retailers and contractors. So there is not layers of government. This is something that Governor Engler of Michigan said made this program very practical and user friendly.

Second, I want to remind folks of the broad basis of support from unusual allies--the National Association of Manufacturers, a key vote; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, key vote; National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association--that's 6,000 retail businesses; National Association of Home Builders, 175,000 members; the Alliance to Save Energy; the Home Star Coalition; Efficiency First; and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. This has broad support because it's practical and addresses a real-world problem by creating jobs and letting folks save money on their energy bills.


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