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Legislative Updates, Weatherization

WAP Legislative Update and We Need Your Help

We need your help! WAP faces severe funding threats – help us engage with utility and business partners to get their support with legislators on Capitol Hill. Join us on Advocacy Days and put us in touch with your networks. We can’t do it without you!

As you know, we have a huge mountain to climb to save the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) as we approach the beginning of the new 2014 federal fiscal year (FY) on October 1. At this time, Congress has not enacted any of the 12 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014. While we secured a funding level of $190M in the Senate Appropriation Committee bill, there is no real possibility that the House and Senate will reach agreement on an Energy and Water Appropriations bill, and there is also no realistic prospect for a “grand bargain” or comprehensive budget agreement between the President and the Congress.

Without a budget agreement, there will be another Continuing Resolution (CR)– the third year in row Congress has failed to pass a budget to fund the government. That means the WAP remains stuck at the FY 2012 number of $68M in FY 2014.  This is truly an unacceptable situation since Congress adopted the $68M number only because of the unspent Recovery Act dollars back in FY 2012 — a situation that no longer exists. To avoid the prospect of living with $68M we are working to persuade the executive Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ask Congress for a budget anomaly for WAP at least at the level of $184M, which is what the Administration requested for WAP in its FY 2014 budget. If the Administration makes the request,  then Congress must approve the Administration’s request.

We must return funding to the pre-Recovery Act level of $210M to $230M as soon as possible, but in the near term a special budget request (or “budget anomaly”) is the best option we have. This means we need your help to persuade OMB and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to approve the budget anomaly before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.  That is why we are reaching out to broaden the business community and utility involvement in the advocacy for weatherization – because without the active support of the businesses who participate in Weatherization through the “supply chain” and the help of utilities, this great program may disappear.  So, please help us save the Weatherization program by joining us in Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill to make sure the Members of Congress understand the benefits of Weatherization – and the threat to its existence.

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