House Passes Home Star Energy Retrofit Act; Clear Signs of Economic Recovery

May 7, 2010
Pelosi Update

House Passes Home Star Energy Retrofit Act
On Thursday, the House passed the bipartisan Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, by a vote of 246 to 161. The legislation will provide immediate incentives for consumers to make their homes more energy-efficient – creating jobs here at home, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and spurring energy savings for American families. This legislation means that homeowners in San Francisco and across the country are eligible for up-front rebates of up to $3,000 for energy-saving improvements including insulation, duct sealing, windows and doors, air sealing, and water heaters.

As unemployment in the U.S. construction industry exceeds 25 percent, this legislation could not come a moment too soon. The Home Star bill will create an estimated 168,000 good-paying American jobs in construction, manufacturing, and retail industries. This legislation builds on the New Direction Congress’ commitment to clean energy jobs and strengthens our national security through energy independence – making a significant departure from Republican policies that kept us tied to Big Oil and dirty, dangerous fuels.

Clear Signs of Economic Recovery
While Congressional Republicans continue to deny and downplay any signs of economic recovery –– they cannot ignore the clear signs that the Recovery Act and other job-creation measures passed by Congress are putting Americans back to work.

290,000 jobs were created in the last month – the fastest increase in more than four years – bringing the total jobs gained since December 2009 to 573,000. U.S. consumer confidence is at its highest since September 2008, and the GDP grew for the third straight quarter, up to 3.2 percent. There has been an increase in manufacturing activity, construction spending, and factory orders, and consumer spending is up for the sixth straight month, surpassing pre-recession levels.

This week I had a productive discussion with leaders from the economic, academic, and business communities about the state of our economy. While signs of recovery are strong, more must and will be done. Many individuals lost their jobs, their homes, and their retirement security because of the recklessness of Wall Street. The House has already taken action to ensure that big financial institutions can no longer gamble with the American dream. I look forward to the Senate passing financial reform so that we can send this important bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible.

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Member of Congress