Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), sponsor of H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, said in floor debate on the bill (Congressional Record, Page H3219):
There’s been a concern raised about spending, and rightly so. This bill must be paid for. All of us who support this legislation acknowledge that. And we will have to vote on how exactly we’re going to have this paid for. And we will. But let’s keep in mind that there is a difference between a wise investment and wasteful spending.
From The Burlington (Vt.) Free-Press, “House approves Welch’s bill on energy efficiency“:
Unlike the stimulus weatherization funds, Welch said, his bill wouldn’t involve layers of government.
Democrats haven’t decided how the bill would be financed, but they say it would be deficit-neutral. Welch said the bill’s rebates would be a “perfect” use of unallocated stimulus funds.
“It will put people to work immediately … and what’s terrific about it is that the work they will do has lasting value,” he said. “It’s not make-work.”
Last week, before the 246-161 vote for passage, Rep. Welch visited the Jeld-Wen plant in Springfield, Vt., reported in The Rutland Herald and an official press release, “As House vote approaches, Welch highlights Vermont job-creating potential of Home Star at Springfield factory“:
In addition to JELD-WEN plant manager Al DiBella, Welch was joined at the event by Rick Bibens, who owns five Ace hardware stores in Springfield, Burlington, South Burlington, Essex and Colchester. Hardware and other home performance stores throughout Vermont would receive a boost in business when Home Star’s in-store rebates take effect.
“In addition to the financial and energy savings, the HOMESTAR program will allow workers in the window and door industry to not only keep their jobs, but it would also create additional jobs throughout the distribution chain,” DiBella said. “These are American jobs, producing American products, sold to American consumers, which would provide a significant boost to the American economy. Specifically, HOMESTAR will boost our local economy here in Vermont by saving and increasing jobs at our Springfield plant.”
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