—Brad Penney, General Counsel, NASCSP—
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has been in the spotlight on Capitol Hill over the last month with legislative activity around funding for FY 2013 and FY 2014 really heating up. Here at NASCSP we’ve been working with our legislative allies and national partners to advocate for increased funding for the Program. It’s been a complex and lengthy process so, to break it all down for you, here’s an overview of recent legislative activity:
(1) March 22nd – The Reed-Collins Amendment on the Budget Resolution in the Senate adding $50M to the WAP budget for FY 2014 passed in the Senate;
(2) March 28th – Thirty four Senators signed onto a Reed-Collins letter urging the Secretary of Energy to use his discretion to increase WAP funding for the balance of FY 2013 from the Continuing Resolution Level of $68 million;
(3) April 24th – Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) crafted a similar letter in the House to the Secretary of Energy asking for an increase in the WAP FY 2013 allocation;
(4) April 24th – Representatives Hanna and Tonko additionally circulated a letter to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Appropriations asking for an increase in FY 2014 funding for WAP. The letter was signed by over 60 House Members; and
(5) April 26th – Senators Reed and Collins wrote a letter to the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee seeking $230M for WAP in FY 2014 — that letter is now finalized and signed by 40 Senators following our all-out effort the past few days.
We are especially grateful today to Senators Jack Reed and Susan Collins, and to Congressmen Paul Tonko and Richard Hanna for their leadership in fighting for increased funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
Thank you also to those who have assisted us in these efforts by reaching out to your Senators and House Members. The more we continue to advocate for sustainable WAP funding, explain the negative outcomes of continued low funding, and tell our Congressional representatives about the successes of the Program nationwide, the better our funding outcomes will be.
Did you contact your legislators? Please leave a comment below and tell us how it went.