What: All Issues : Environment : Global Warming : (H.R. 2354) On an amendment that would have increased funding by $60.5 million for the Buildings Technology Program, which funds the development of new technologies that reduce energy use in buildings (2011 house Roll Call 550)
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(H.R. 2354) On an amendment that would have increased funding by $60.5 million for the Buildings Technology Program, which funds the development of new technologies that reduce energy use in buildings
house Roll Call 550     Jul 12, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. David Wu (D-OR) that would have increased funding by $60.5 million for the Buildings Technology Program, which funds the development of new technologies that reduce energy use in buildings. At the same time, the amendment would have cut $60.5 million from the Energy Department’s administrative expenses account. This amendment was offered to legislation providing annual funding for Energy Department programs and the Army Corps of Engineers in fiscal year 2012.

Wu urged support for his amendment: “At a time of both record energy costs and record unemployment, we need to protect Americans from crushing energy costs by improving the efficiency of existing and new buildings and homes….Even at this late hour, at 8:30 p.m., you can just about hear the air conditioning straining to keep it cool in this chamber. The cost for air conditioning the U.S. capitol is a fortune. It is also very costly at my 13-foot-wide townhouse near the capitol, and, of course, heating cost is a big issue in my home in Oregon. The Building Technologies Program reduces the cost of operating homes and buildings by fostering public-private partnerships and developing technologies, techniques, and tools for making homes and businesses more affordable, productive, and efficient. According to the Department of Energy, the Building Technologies Program has resulted in fully $14 billion of direct savings to the consumer, savings that have been reinvested in local economies. Additionally, since its founding 20 years ago, the Building Technologies Program has saved the equivalent of over 12 billion gallons of gasoline.”

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) opposed Wu’s amendment, arguing it made an “unrealistic cut to departmental administration.” He said: “It's not responsible to cut administration and oversight, the very thing that both the ranking [member] and I would suggest the Department of Energy needs more than anything. They need people to review their programs, provide accountability, meet the benchmarks we've set and the timetables we've set and report back to our committee. So I oppose the amendment and urge others to do so as well.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 196-228. Voting “yea” were 168 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 28 Republicans. 210 Republicans and 18 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have increased funding by $60.5 million for the Buildings Technology Program, and also would have cut $60.5 million from the Energy Department’s administrative expenses account.

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