Amendment Text: H.Amdt.775 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (09/16/2010)

This Amendment appears on page H6785 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H6777-H6791]
                    RURAL ENERGY SAVINGS PROGRAM ACT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1620 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 4785.

                              {time}  1223


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 4785) to amend the miscellaneous rural development provisions of 
the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to authorize the 
Secretary of Agriculture to make loans to certain entities that will 
use the funds to make loans to consumers to implement energy efficiency 
measures involving structural improvements and investments in cost-
effective, commercial off-the-shelf technologies to reduce home energy 
use, with Mr. Salazar in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  General debate shall not exceed 1 hour equally divided and controlled 
by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on 
Agriculture and the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee 
on Energy and Commerce.
  The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden), the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas), the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 
Butterfield), and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Barton) each will 
control 15 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden).
  Mr. HOLDEN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, the bill we are considering today, H.R. 4785, the Rural 
Energy Savings Program Act, will greatly benefit our rural residents. 
The agriculture provisions in this bill build on existing U.S. 
Department of Agriculture programs and will reduce energy consumption 
and, as a result, reduce energy costs in rural America.
  Rural electric cooperatives estimate that the Rural Energy Savings 
Program Act has the potential to create between 20,000 and 40,000 jobs 
per year and will make loans available to between 1.1 and 1.6 million 
rural households, depending on the average consumer size. It is clear 
that this is a win-win proposition for our rural constituents and our 
rural economy.
  This Act furthers the Agriculture Committee's commitment to expand 
renewable and alternative sources of power and discover new 
technologies to improve the efficiency and sustainability of existing 
power generation across rural America.
  H.R. 4785 authorizes USDA's rural utility service to make interest-
free loans to eligible entities. These entities will use these funds to 
make low-interest loans to rural consumers allowing them to implement 
energy-efficient measures on their property. Using the existing Rural 
Utilities Service structure, with the rural electric cooperatives as 
the delivery system, rural consumers can more quickly obtain the 
benefits of energy-efficient investments and ultimately decrease their 
energy bills.
  Rural customers are facing increasing energy costs and rural electric 
cooperatives, which serve 42 million member owners across the country, 
are facing growing demand for electric power, yet are constrained from 
building new generation capacity.
  The upfront costs to make energy-efficient upgrades are often beyond 
the reach of most consumers. This is true even if the costs can be 
recovered over time or a tax credit or a rebate would reduce the 
initial price. Additionally, consumers often lack the necessary 
knowledge about what technologies would be the most effective.
  H.R. 4785 is an opportunity to meet these challenges and enact policy 
that we know will reduce energy costs and consumption and improve the 
quality of life in our rural communities.
  I would like to thank Congressman Clyburn and Congressman Perriello 
for their hard work and dedication to improving energy efficiency and 
their support for the agriculture provisions within this Act.
  Mr. Chairman, I strongly support the agriculture provisions contained 
in this Act and encourage its passage.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I must rise today in opposition to H.R. 4785, the Rural 
Energy Savings Program Act. As a result of the Democratic leadership's 
failed policies, we are now considering a bill that creates two new 
government funded programs to address high energy bills and energy 
demand. We are considering creating a program that duplicates thousands 
of other efficiency measures that Congress has passed and funded in the 
billions of dollars over the last several years.
  H.R. 4785, as reported by the Agriculture Committee, would require 
the government, through USDA, to front nearly a billion dollars to 
rural electric cooperatives so that they can, in return, make what 
might potentially be risky loans to their customers for energy-
efficiency projects in their homes. The investments made in this 
program would only benefit an estimated 1.5 million of the 43 million 
customers served by rural electric cooperatives. Energy efficiency is 
an important step in an overall energy plan. But creating a new 
government funded program is not the solution.
  This issue can be addressed in the farm bill by making adjustments to 
current programs. The 2008 farm bill included a provision that would 
have allowed rural electric cooperatives to

[[Page H6778]]

expand clean energy production and provide affordable electricity for 
more of its customers.

                              {time}  1230

  However, the provision was stripped by the current Democratic 
leadership. As a result, rural electric cooperatives cannot access RUS 
lending for new base load generation. In other words, base load 
generation from sources such as nuclear, natural gas, and clean coal 
technologies are difficult, if not impossible, to finance through the 
program now.
  Even more alarming is that this is not the bill that was reported by 
the Committee on Agriculture. Instead, the Democratic leadership 
created a bill that is five times larger and includes a program that 
was already stripped, already stripped, the Home Star program, on the 
House floor by bipartisan support. It will give the Department of 
Energy another program and billions more in taxpayer dollars to 
administer.
  Why would Congress add to a failed stimulus policy? The American 
Recovery and Reinvestment Act alone created the $5.25 billion 
Weatherization Assistance Program for home energy efficiency updates, 
which has been, some say, a colossal failure from an implementation 
perspective, and very well may have wasted huge amounts of taxpayers' 
dollars at the hands of the Department of Energy.
  The Democratic leadership is pushing energy policy that will create 
increased and burdensome energy costs for Americans. As a result, we 
are creating new government programs that increase spending to address 
the consequences of those policies. I urge my colleagues oppose the 
bill.
  I reserve the balance of my time, Mr. Chairman.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 4785, a bill authored by 
the distinguished majority whip, Mr. James Clyburn of South Carolina. 
The Rural Energy Savings Program Act will not only quickly create 
construction and manufacturing jobs, but it will also help Americans 
make their homes more energy efficient.
  The Agriculture Committee reported this bill favorably in July. I 
want to commend the chairman of the committee, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. 
Clyburn for subsequently working with my committee, the Energy and 
Commerce Committee, to actually improve the legislation. The bill 
includes the Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program that was reported 
by the Energy and Commerce Committee on April 15, 2010, as part of H.R. 
5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010.
  Mr. Chairman, H.R. 5019 was approved by the committee with a 
bipartisan vote of 30-17. It was supported by a broad array of 
stakeholders, including energy efficiency advocates, manufacturers, 
business and industry trade associations, and small businesses. Under 
this bill, homeowners anywhere in the country will be able to work with 
their rural cooperative, utility, or other governor-designated lender 
to borrow money for proven energy efficiency investments in their 
homes. They would repay the loans over time, generally from a portion 
of the money they save on their energy bill, and at an interest rate of 
not more than 3 percent. The lenders would repay their States, and the 
States would repay the Federal Government after not more than 20 years.
  The Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program is a natural companion 
to the Rural Energy Savings Program Act. As you may know, the Rural 
Energy Savings Act authorizes zero-interest loans to rural electric 
cooperatives for purposes of offering consumer loans for energy 
efficiency home retrofits. The Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program 
will authorize zero-interest loans to those portions of the country not 
served--I repeat that--not served by rural electric cooperatives.
  I originally cosponsored this bill because it provided enormous 
assistance to consumers served by rural electric cooperatives across 
the country. My district in North Carolina is served by 10 rural 
electric co-ops in addition to the 20 municipal power utilities and two 
investor-owned utilities.
  Across the country, cooperatives only serve about 12 percent of the 
Nation's population. So the provisions included in the substitute 
amendment will ensure that a homeowner will have the same access to a 
low interest energy efficiency loan whether or not they are served by a 
co-op, an investor-owned utility, or a municipality.
  Under the Home Star loan program, States could borrow Federal funds 
to allow entities like electric utilities or other entities provide 
loans to consumers for residential energy efficiency measures. The 
Department of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of 
Agriculture, would identify the eligible energy efficiency measures.
  The programs in this bill, Mr. Chairman, vary significantly from the 
Weatherization Assistance Program. Weatherization is a grant program 
used by low-income households to reduce their energy bills by making 
their homes more energy efficient. The programs in this bill are loans, 
and thus do not increase the deficit. They are available to anyone, 
regardless of income.
  Some of my Republican colleagues have questioned this bill's 
necessity due to the significant investment made in the Weatherization 
program in the Recovery Act. Well, while I concede that Weatherization 
got off to a slow start, today over 30,000 homes each month are being 
weatherized across the country. In September, the Department of Energy 
announced that it had weatherized over 200,000 homes across the 
country. In June, 960 homes were weatherized in my State of North 
Carolina. Each of the low-income families living in those 960 homes 
will save an average of $437 annually on their energy bill. But that's 
not why we are here today. We are here to offer all Americans a chance 
to lower their utility bills and put their neighbors back to work.
  The recession has had a significant impact on the home construction 
and services industry, which has experienced unemployment rates of 27 
percent. Additionally, manufacturing plants that produce construction-
related products have operated at 50 percent of capacity. Home energy 
retrofit work can provide, and it will provide, significant employment 
opportunities for construction workers while boosting domestic 
manufacturing. More than 92 percent of the energy-efficient products 
and materials for which the Home Star program will stimulate sales are 
manufactured here in the United States of America.
  Home energy efficiency retrofits can also cut the Nation's energy 
use, saving consumers money and cutting pollution. American homes 
account for about 33 percent of the Nation's total electricity demand, 
and approximately 22 percent of all energy use in the United States. 
This legislation, Mr. Chairman, presents an opportunity for all of us 
to work together to save energy and create jobs. I urge all of our 
colleagues to seize this opportunity.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, at this time I have no further requests for 
time, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Clyburn), the distinguished majority whip.
  (Mr. CLYBURN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CLYBURN. I thank my friend, Chairman Holden, for yielding me the 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy 
Savings Program Act. Mr. Chairman, the Rural Energy Savings Program, or 
Rural Star, as it is popularly called, is an important piece of the 
Make It in America agenda. It is a program that will create jobs and 
help save families money on their energy bills.
  Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once called our 50 States 
``laboratories of democracy.'' And that is certainly the case with this 
homegrown, American-owned idea. The rural electric co-ops in South 
Carolina brought this idea to my attention late last year. And I worked 
with them and my colleague Congressman John Spratt to craft legislation 
that takes the South Carolina model nationwide. I am very proud that 
South Carolina is providing significant leadership for our economic 
recovery with this innovative approach to job creation and energy 
savings.
  The concept is very simple: low-cost home improvement loans for 
energy-efficient upgrades, sealing, insulation,

[[Page H6779]]

HVAC systems, heat pumps, and other structural improvements. Those low-
cost loans are paid back on customers' electricity bills, with the 
energy savings covering the cost of the loan.

                              {time}  1240

  When the term of the loan expires, most people will be saving 
hundreds of dollars annually on their monthly utility bills.
  This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is first and foremost a jobs 
bill, and it is based on commonsense ideas that can be done in a 
fiscally responsible manner that will protect taxpayers and the 
Treasury. Let me emphasize that this is a voluntary loan program, not a 
grant or rebate; and the loans are paid back to the Federal Treasury.
  We call this the Rural Energy Savings Program because it will save 
consumers energy and money. More importantly, it will put people back 
to work, particularly in the building and construction trades and 
manufacturing industries, sectors that have been hard hit by the 
economic downturn.
  While providing energy upgrades and significant employment 
opportunities for building and construction workers, this legislation 
will boost domestic manufacturing. Retailers of energy-efficient 
building materials and appliances will also benefit from increased 
sales. Virtually all of the energy-efficient products and materials 
used for energy efficiency improvements are made in America.
  Rural Star has the support of a broad coalition of stakeholders, 
including the National Association of Manufacturers, the National 
Association of Home Builders, the Retail Industry Leaders Association 
and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
  Rural Star will create high-skill, high-wage manufacturing and 
construction jobs and deliver meaningful energy savings for consumers 
that will put money directly into their wallets.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support this bill. Let's create jobs 
that are made in America so that our fellow citizens can ``Make It in 
America.''
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina, the chairman of the Budget Committee, Mr. Spratt.
  (Mr. SPRATT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Chairman, this bill will authorize the Rural 
Utilities Service to make loans to rural electric co-ops so that the 
co-ops, in turn, can make loans to families and small businesses for 
energy conservation and efficiency measures that meet Federal 
standards.
  This process will begin with an energy audit aimed at identifying 
energy-saving measures. Based on this audit, the co-ops will propose 
improvements like insulation or high-efficiency heat pumps. Consumers 
will pay the co-ops for the installation through a charge on their 
utility bills spread over a period of 5 to 10 years. The energy savings 
will cover much, if not all, of the loan repayment. And after the loan 
is repaid, the participating consumer will continue to save, as will 
the economy, because of the more efficient use of energy.
  There are more than 200,000 rural electric cooperative customers in 
my district, many of them near or below the poverty level. Many of 
these hardworking people would gladly invest in their homes to make 
them more efficient, but they cannot borrow or afford the funds 
necessary to install a new heat pump or place insulation in their walls 
and ceilings.
  This is where the ingenuity of the co-ops comes in. Through a program 
that could be implemented nationwide, they would provide a simple but 
effective solution to help their customers at relatively low cost. At 
the same time they would create new jobs by making low-cost loans 
available to install high-impact energy efficiency improvements. The 
loans will be repaid over time on the consumer's utility bill, and 
ideally there will be a net reduction of utility payments even when 
accounting for the loan repayments. This is a win-win solution to a 
major problem.
  I urge support for this bill. It is well crafted and it will not have 
an impact on the bottom line of the budget because we are talking about 
loans made by the Federal Government to the electric co-ops, which will 
be, I am sure, duly repaid.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Perriello).
  Mr. PERRIELLO. Thank you for yielding.
  This is a great day, and this is a great program. This is the kind of 
commonsense approach people are looking for right now to help cut costs 
for families that are struggling and help put construction crews back 
to work that are desperately under demand in this economy.
  Here we have a chance to help support American construction, using 
American-manufactured products to reduce the electric bills of rural 
America, including seniors on fixed incomes, including middle class 
families and working class families. It is the kind of common sense 
that has always made this country stronger and more vibrant. Here we 
are at a time when construction is down that we can be stepping up to 
renovate the building stock that we have, and we know in our rural 
communities our building stock is less efficient than in much of the 
rest of America.
  So here we have a chance to make our rural communities more 
competitive and more livable, the utilities as partners, because the 
only limiting factor here is up-front capital. We know that the market 
can drive the rest.
  So helping the utilities to provide that up-front investment, to 
unleash construction crews going to work to renovate homes, using 
American manufactured products like insulation, double-paned glass, 
window film--including the best window film in the world that we can 
make in southern Virginia in my district--that reduces electric bills.
  If you are a senior on a fixed income and you have seen your electric 
rates go up and up, there is nothing you can take out of that budget. 
You don't have some party budget that you are going to give up. It's a 
fixed income. If we can help reduce that electric bill, that's more 
money for food and for transportation and for other needs that our 
seniors and our working families face. We can unleash what we do best, 
making things, building things, growing things in America and saving 
money for the average American who is so stretched right now.
  We should not delay. We should pass this today on a bipartisan basis. 
We should make sure the Senate follows suit because this is the kind of 
common sense that can support those construction jobs we need, those 
manufacturing jobs we need, and that economic relief that our working 
and middle class families desperately need.
  I urge all of my colleagues to be part of this commonsense solution 
and get us building and making things in America again today.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I have no further requests for time, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I have the greatest confidence, faith and belief in the 
integrity and the intention of my colleagues as they work on this bill; 
but, Mr. Chairman, this is adding 5 billion more dollars on top of 
hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars 
that we have spent over the course of the last year and a half-plus 
that we don't have.
  I would simply urge my colleagues, turn this bill back, let's not add 
$5 billion more on to what we have already spent. Let's fulfill our 
constitutional responsibilities and pass our 12 appropriation bills in 
regular session. Let's fulfill our responsibility to our constituents 
and the economy they have to work in by addressing the tax issues from 
2001 and 2003, and let's just go home.
  There is a political storm brewing out there. This is going to be a 
different body in January. Let's do what we are obligated to do under 
the Constitution and for our constituents and go home.
  With that, I yield back the remainder of my time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, we know that rural cooperatives will need

[[Page H6780]]

to double generating capacity. Several reports, including one done by 
USDA, state it will take a 10-year capital requirement of $65.5 
billion, $49.9 billion which would be for new generation, and this does 
not even take into consideration the $10 billion needed for 
transmission and the $3 billion to retrofit. So that would be a 
tremendous expense to consumers across rural America. Energy efficiency 
investment is the way we need to proceed, so I encourage adoption of 
the bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. BARTON of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the bill 
before us today. I am going to ask my colleagues to vote ``no.''
  We had a similar bill on the floor back in May; and in that bill we 
offered a motion to recommit, which passed, which struck the Home Star 
loan program.

                              {time}  1250

  This bill, the bill that we struck the loan program from back in May, 
was a $324 million authorization. This bill has come back to us at a $5 
billion authorization. That is a little bit of a puzzlement. If it 
didn't make sense in May to start a new program for $300 million, it 
doesn't make sense in September to start the same program except for $5 
billion. So, if for no other reason, we should vote against this bill.
  The second point I want to make is that the programs in the bill are 
worthwhile. I know that seems to be a little bit inconsistent with what 
I just said, but it is not that these are bad programs. The question is 
can we afford them when we have a deficit that is going to be between 
$1.2 trillion and $1.4 trillion this year?
  In another energy efficiency bill that has become law last year, we 
authorized, and I think we appropriated, $4.7 billion for the 
Department of Energy to do the same sort of programs that this bill 
would authorize. Today, the Department of Energy has spent about 10 
percent of that, a little less than $500 million. So they have over $4 
billion that has been appropriated that hasn't been spent. Now, I'm not 
casting stones on the Department of Energy. It probably makes sense to 
take your time setting up the program and making sure you get the 
processes and the requirements to participate in the right form. But if 
we have an existing program that has been appropriated and has over $4 
billion surplus in it, I don't see the need for another program.
  One may say, well, this is for rural America or for specific 
homeowners. But, to my knowledge, and I have got the Agriculture 
Committee here, there would be no exclusions because of the location 
under the program that the Department of Energy is currently 
implementing.
  I would point out that 2 years ago the Federal debt was a little 
under $6 trillion. We have added almost $3 trillion to it in the last 2 
years. I can't see that there is much net improvement that has happened 
to our economy with the expenditure of that much money, the addition of 
that much money to the debt.
  It is not a case, Mr. Chairman, of coming to the floor and saying, 
This is a good program, support it. With these kinds of deficits, I 
think we need to think as a body, Is this a program that is absolutely 
essential and is it worth adding more to the public debt to pass this 
program? And with all due respect, while this is a good program, it is 
not a program that I think we should add to our children's and our 
grandchildren's debt. So I would urge a ``no'' vote at the appropriate 
time.
  Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the bill before us and urge my 
colleagues to vote ``no.''
  There is a growing tide of voices in this country calling for less 
government, less spending, and less debt. These concerns stretch across 
party and region. Our national debt presents a crisis we have 
mistakenly ignored for far too long. But after nearly two trillion 
dollars have been spent on a failed economic stimulus package and 
programs to prop-up our financial system, we need to examine every 
dollar authorized with the utmost scrutiny.
  If we apply just the slightest amount of examination to this bill, it 
becomes difficult to defend the premise on which the Rural Energy 
Savings Program Act rests. Take the so-called stimulus bill for 
instance. In early 2009, Congress authorized the Department of Energy 
to spend an additional $4.7 billion on its home weatherization program. 
Improved home energy efficiency is a great way to ensure savings for 
the homeowner and helps lessen our overall consumption of electricity. 
Programs that speed efficiency measures along should be a no-brainer. 
But twelve months after $4.7 billion was handed to the Department of 
Energy for these purposes, we found out we had little to show for it. 
In that time, DOE had spent only 10 percent of its new funds to upgrade 
around 30,000 homes around the country. This was supposed to be another 
``shovel-ready'' stimulus project that would create thousands of jobs 
and improve energy efficiency in hundreds of thousands of homes. In 
that pursuit, the program was a complete failure.
  The bill before us today basically seeks the same goals using the 
same byzantine structures and bureaucracies that failed us before. If 
we can't trust DOE to handle increased funding for an already-existing 
program, how can we trust DOE and the Department of Agriculture to 
handle billions of dollars for an entirely new program? The simple 
answer is we can't.
  On top of the issue of government shortcomings is the question of 
cost. H.R. 4785 authorizes $5 billion in taxpayer money without any 
means of finding a way of paying for it. Again, we're ignoring 
the Majority's own pay-as-you-go rules. These rules, as the voters were 
led to believe, were created to help stop the bleeding of funds into 
the pool of national debt. But over the past few years, we all realize 
it is a grand illusion. Our country is at its greatest level of debt 
since the end of World War II--62 percent of GDP. We cannot keep adding 
a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there thinking the cost of 
these programs have no effect. Somewhere we must put a stop to the 
bleeding. And if we look at government's past performance in improving 
home energy efficiency and weigh the costs with the benefits, we cannot 
logically justify tallying $5 billion in additional red ink.

  I can only conclude from the reading of this bill that my opposition 
was not necessary from the outset. Had this bill properly made its way 
through the Energy and Commerce and Agriculture Committees, we would 
have had a better chance at learning more of the program's advantages 
and disadvantages and, through committee markup, had the opportunity to 
make improvements that would have eliminated the debt problem and 
further developed the accountability measures that are absent from this 
legislation. As we've seen so many times in this Congress and the one 
before, regular order has been ignored and incomplete legislation 
results.
  Mr. Chair, it does not always have to be this way. I support making 
homes more energy efficient and government efforts that properly pursue 
that goal. H.R. 4785 will not accomplish that task and simply creates 
more problems than it solves.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch), a member of the Energy and Commerce 
Committee.
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I want to, first of all, thank the gentleman 
from Texas because he did help make this bill and the Home Star bill a 
better bill.
  There is a question here about why we provide this money in a time of 
a deficit, and there is an answer to that. America faces, right now, 
two great challenges. One is high unemployment--we have got to put 
people back to work--and the other is an energy policy that is not as 
clean as it needs to be. It is not as sustainable as it must be, and it 
is not as affordable as it is essential that it be.
  This legislation addresses both of those challenges by investing in 
energy efficiency, and this is with people making their own decisions 
about how best to do that in their own rural homes. We invest in our 
economy. Over 90 percent of the materials are manufactured in the 
United States of America. By slowing our wasteful use of energy, we can 
save homeowners hundreds of millions of dollars. That is money in their 
pocket that they can spend on other things good for the economy. And 
by, of course, reducing the amount of costly oil we import from hostile 
nations, we can create clean energy jobs here at home.
  So this is a practical approach to address persistent high 
unemployment, tight family budgets, and climate change. This is a win-
win-win for families, for our economy, and for our energy future.
  I applaud Mr. Clyburn and the other sponsors, Mr. Spratt, and I urge 
the passage of this legislation.

[[Page H6781]]

  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chair, I yield myself the balance of my time 
to close.
  I'll make it short and sweet. This is the same bill that was rejected 
under suspension back in May, with the exception that the authorization 
on the Home Star program has been increased by 13-fold. I suggested a 
``no'' vote then. I continue to suggest a ``no'' vote and would ask for 
a ``no'' vote at the appropriate time.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I thank the ranking member for his 
comments.
  We continue to say that this legislation is a good bill and it is 
certainly deficit neutral. It has been judged that way by the 
Congressional Budget Office. It is a loan program. It is not a grant 
program. It will not add to the deficit. It will not add to the debt in 
any respect.
  I would like to encourage my colleagues to distinguish this program 
from the Department of Energy program that is a weatherization program. 
The weatherization programs, as we all know as Members, are intended to 
help low-income families, and it is a grant program. This is a loan 
program whereby Federal dollars are given to an investor-owned utility 
or to a municipality or to a rural cooperative, and the money is used 
then, in turn, to make low-interest loans to families who qualify. It 
is not income based. There are qualifications for the loans, but the 
family income is not a qualification to qualify for the loan.
  We must enable the American people to weatherize their homes. Forty 
percent, in some instances, of their utility bill can be attributed to 
the loss of heat and air within the homes. And so this program is 
intended to help install replacement windows and insulation and other 
things that will make homes more energy efficient.
  It will pay for itself. It's a good bill. I ask my colleagues to 
support it.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of H.R. 4785, the Rural 
Energy Savings Program Act.
  I am a cosponsor of this bill, which has been modified to include 
provisions of H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, of which I 
am also a cosponsor.
  The Rural Energy Savings Program Act creates two energy efficiency 
loan programs. The Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program, 
administered by the Energy Department, will provide interest-free loans 
to states or territories, which will then re-loan the money to 
consumers for energy efficiency home renovations. The Rural Star Energy 
Program, run by the Agriculture Department, will make loans to rural 
electric co-ops, enabling these organizations to provide loans to 
qualified consumers to make their homes and businesses become more 
energy efficient.
  Constituents in my district have some of the highest energy costs in 
the country, especially residents of Hawaii's rural communities. The 
Rural Star Energy Program would give Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, 
a rural electric co-op in my district, the opportunity to help 
families, farms, and businesses on Kauai save money on their energy 
bills while reducing energy waste and carbon pollution.
  In addition, the Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program and the 
Rural Star Energy Program will help create jobs by increasing demand 
for energy efficiency products (many of which are made in the United 
States) and energy equipment retrofits.
  I strongly support H.R. 4785 and urge my colleagues to support this 
measure.
  Mr. ETHERIDGE. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4785, the 
Rural Energy Savings Program (RESPA).
  As a part-time farmer and a representative of a rural district, I 
know how crippling the cost of energy can be to farms, families and our 
rural citizens. As our nation moves towards finding cleaner and more 
efficient ways of generating energy, many people in small communities 
are finding that the costs of energy efficiency improvements are simply 
too high. The farmers I talk to know that the savings from these 
improvements are real, but the up-front costs are too often out of 
reach. That is what it so important about this bill: through the use of 
interest-free loans distributed by the Department of Agriculture, it 
will allow farmers and rural citizens to implement critical energy-
efficient technology that will bring their energy costs down.
  This bill authorizes USDA's Rural Utilities Service to make interest-
free loans to individual or state-based groups of co-ops. These loans 
will then be used by the co-op to fund energy-efficient improvements 
for farms or residences. These projects are projected to have a 10 year 
or less payback period, meaning the customer will realize savings in a 
relatively quick time frame. The loan will be repaid on the customer's 
utility bill over a 10 year window.
  While this is a great bill for rural America, it is also an important 
bill for the rest of the country. The energy upgrades mean jobs in 
America for Americans, in construction, installation, and 
manufacturing. These are good jobs that cannot be outsourced, the kind 
of jobs we need to put North Carolinians back to work. At the same 
time, Americans know that many providers of our imported energy sources 
like oil are unstable and a potential threat to our national security. 
This bill moves us forward with a policy that reduces our dependence on 
these risky sources of energy.
  As a Representative who is committed to budget discipline, I am 
pleased that this bill advances these priorities at absolutely no cost 
to taxpayers. The co-ops will assume all risks for consumer repayments 
of their efficiency investments. This means that the Federal Government 
bears no risk in these transactions and must be repaid by the co-op. 
This bill moves us a step closer to energy independence without 
increasing our Federal deficit, and I applaud the bill's sponsor for 
that.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting in favor of this 
bill. It is good for our farmers, our rural citizens and for our 
country.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 4785, the Rural 
Energy Savings Program Act, which also authorizes the Home Star Energy 
Efficiency Loan Program. Residential housing accounts for one-third of 
the Nation's total electricity demand and about 22 percent of all 
energy use in the United States. Moreover, it is estimated that 
existing technologies and practices could reduce energy use--and 
therefore home energy costs for American families--by up to 40 percent 
per home. This legislation will allow electric utilities and co-ops to 
make low-interest loans of a few thousand dollars to consumers who wish 
to make energy efficient upgrades to their homes. The loans can then be 
repaid on the consumers' electric bill, with most of the loan costs 
covered by their savings in electricity.
  The Rural Energy Savings and Home Star Energy Efficiency programs 
will help homeowners with the upfront costs of installing energy 
efficiency retrofits while boosting markets for U.S. manufacturers of 
energy efficiency products and creating new jobs for our construction 
workers and contractors. It is estimated that the two programs will 
create nearly 200,000 jobs in the construction, manufacturing, and 
retail sectors that have been devastated by the recent recession. At 
the same time, these programs will help curb our Nation's carbon 
emissions and reduce our unsustainable dependence on fossil fuels. This 
legislation is good for our economy, good for American worker and 
consumers, good for the environment, and good for our Nation's energy 
security.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of the Rural 
Energy Savings Program Act and the Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan 
Program contained in today's substitute amendment. Together, these 
complementary initiatives will create good paying American jobs, save 
consumers money and enhance our nation's energy security.
  The Rural Star program will enable rural electric cooperatives to 
borrow money from the USDA Rural Utilities Service to fund voluntary 
and cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades for the citizens they 
serve. The resulting low-interest loans would bear an interest rate of 
no greater than three percent and would be repaid on the participating 
consumers' utility bill over a ten year period of time.
  The Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program is designed for those 
citizens not served by rural electric cooperatives. Under this 
companion measure, which tracks the National Home Energy Savings 
Revolving Fund legislation I introduced earlier this Congress, states 
would be able to borrow federal funds they could then make available to 
electric utilities and other entities capable of administering a loan 
program for cost-effective residential energy efficiency retrofits. As 
an added ``Made in America'' benefit, it is estimated that 92 percent 
of the products and materials that would be used in the Home Star 
program are manufactured in the United States.
  Mr. Chair, this is common-sense, forward-looking legislation that 
will meaningfully advance America's clean energy future. I urge ``yes'' 
vote.
  Mrs. KIRKPATRICK of Arizona. Mr. Chair, the House considers today 
H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program. I am a cosponsor of the 
original, bipartisan legislation that would address a critical need in 
rural America--energy efficiency improvements that will reduce our 
energy consumption and lower consumers' utility bills.
  This original bill creates new loans under the Department of 
Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service. The voluntary loans to electric 
cooperatives will facilitate their providing low-interest loans to 
consumers, to be repaid

[[Page H6782]]

through utility bills. Loans will allow cooperative customers to make 
only energy efficiency improvements that are proven to be worth the 
investment. After the small loans for improvements are repaid, 
consumers will have a lasting reduction in their bills as their energy 
consumption declines. The federal government will be repaid, wisely 
leveraging these taxpayer dollars for long-term benefits. This program 
is a win-win-win for consumers, the cooperatives that serve them, and 
taxpayers, and I strongly support this model.
  Unfortunately, the bill we are considering today also includes the 
Home Star Energy Retrofit Act--a measure the House considered in May of 
this year and that I opposed. This bill--also known as ``Cash for 
Caulkers''--would authorize more than $6 billion in new federal 
spending for rebates to home improvements. I heard from constituents 
before last spring's vote that this bill will simply not work for 
Greater Arizona. The rebates require homeowners to have means to make 
the improvements in the first place, and in this economic downturn that 
is simply not an option for many families.
  In addition, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act could cost the 
taxpayers more than $6 billion over the life of the program. I just 
spent six weeks back in Greater Arizona meeting with small businesses, 
working families, and local leaders. The concern I heard expressed most 
frequently was concern that our deficit is growing too quickly and that 
our national debt is mortgaging our children's future. We must stop 
spending and start to address our long-term fiscal imbalance, and 
moving forward with this bill is not going to get the job done.
  I support our rural electric cooperatives, but I cannot support a 
bill that will add so significantly to our deficit or that will not 
help families struggling in these tough times.
  Mr. BROWN of South Carolina. Mr. Chair, I rise reluctantly to oppose 
H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program Act.
  I am listed as a cosponsor of H.R. 4785, however, the legislation I 
added my name to in March is vastly different than the legislation we 
consider today. The Rural Energy Savings Program Act that I 
cosponsored, authorized a relatively modest $750 million over ten-year 
loan program to assist 1.6 million homeowners in rural America to 
install energy efficiency measures in their homes. By providing these 
loans, we would be able to reduce consumer's energy cost and increase 
the demand for energy efficient products, thus creating jobs for 
countless Americans.
  Mr. Chair, during these tough economic times, we are all looking for 
ways to stretch our dollars. One way many consumers seek to reduce 
their monthly expenditures is by reducing their power bill. However, 
the average cost of an energy efficient upgrade is $1,500. Quite 
simply, in rural America, where income is 14 percent below the national 
average, many homeowners do not have the up-front funding necessary to 
install these upgrades, even though the energy savings provided by 
these upgrades pay for themselves over a relatively short period of 
time.
  Additionally, I supported the original version of H.R. 4785 because 
it accomplished the laudable, above-described goal, without creating 
another inefficient government bureaucracy. Instead, the program would 
have used our nation's existing and well-functioning rural electric co-
ops to distribute these loans to consumers.
  I have a long history of supporting the rural electric co-ops, not 
just in this body, or during my time in the South Carolina State House, 
but also by paying my monthly power bill to my own rural electric co-op 
in Berkeley County, South Carolina.
  As such it pains me to oppose this legislation. However, the 
original, modest goal of H.R. 4785 has been lost amid the inclusion of 
the $4.25 billion Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program. This 
portion of the bill would provide funding to states and other 
unspecified entities to create lending programs for homeowners to make 
home energy improvements.
  Mr. Chair, I support energy efficiency for urban consumers, just as I 
do for rural consumers. However, unlike the privately owned rural 
electric co-ops, who have provided many years of faithful service, the 
Department of Energy has not proven they are capable of effectively 
managing such a large program.
  The so-called ``Stimulus'' legislation provided $4.7 billion to the 
Department of Energy in order to weatherize the homes of low-income 
individuals. However, the Department's own Inspector General has found 
that one year after the Stimulus was passed into law only $368 million 
or 7.83 percent had been used and only 30,297 units had been 
weatherized.
  Considering this abject failure, I simply cannot vote to provide 
another $4.25 billion of our taxpayer's dollars to the Department of 
Energy. I am not alone in my opposition to the Home Star Energy 
Efficiency Loan Program. In fact, the House voted earlier this year to 
remove this objectionable program from H.R. 5019 the Home Star Energy 
Retrofit Act by a broad bipartisan vote of 346 to 68. It is very 
objectionable this program has been brought back for a vote as a 
portion of H.R. 4785. As such, I am forced to rise in opposition to 
H.R. 4785 although I remain supportive of the original purpose of the 
legislation and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle in order to lower the electricity costs of all 
Americans.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Illinois. Mr. Chair, I rise today to comment on H.R. 
4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program. As marked up by the House 
Committee on Agriculture, this legislation would truly help rural 
America. Unfortunately, the bill considered on the House floor today, 
is an expensive, and unfortunate alternative that could result in $4.25 
billion in extra spending that has nothing to do with rural America.
  The Rural Energy Savings Program would allow electric cooperatives to 
borrow money for the purposes of funding local energy efficiency 
programs. Eligible co-ops would provide money for energy efficiency 
upgrades to farms and rural consumers in the form of low-interest 
loans. In many cases, the costs to consumers would be covered by the 
resulting savings in their respective energy bills.
  I support H.R. 4785, as originally passed by the House Agriculture 
Committee. This voluntary program would help electric cooperatives 
provide potential energy solutions to their members. I voted against 
the rule for H.R. 4785, which had it failed would have paved the way 
for members to vote on a clean bill. However, the bill before us today 
adds a $4.25 billion authorization for a ``Home Star'' energy program 
that the House has already defeated once and therefore I voted no on 
the overall package.
  I strongly support section two of H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings 
Program, and urge the House and Senate to work together to craft a bill 
that mirrors the work completed in the House Agriculture Committee. 
This Rural Energy Savings program is a sensible approach that could 
improve energy efficiency in rural America.
  Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Chair, although I support incentives to 
promote energy efficiency as well as the work of contractors across the 
country who make our homes and businesses more energy efficient, I must 
rise in opposition to H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program Act.
  During the 6 week August recess, I heard over and over from my 
constituents in Northwest Georgia that the Federal Government needs to 
get its fiscal house in order. That is hard to accomplish when--for the 
first time in the modern era--Congress failed to even adopt a budget 
blueprint for the fiscal year. Why is it that hardworking families have 
to make difficult decisions on their personal budgets while Washington 
can't? The American people deserve better.
  Mr. Chair, unfortunately, the Democratic Majority just doesn't get 
it. I find it hard to believe that the message they are receiving from 
their constituents is much different than what I am hearing. Yet, they 
don't seem to be listening.
  At a time where we have amassed a $1.3 trillion deficit for Fiscal 
Year 2010 alone and we are faced with over $13 trillion in debt, we 
need to demonstrate fiscal restraint. Instead, H.R. 4785 seeks to spend 
an additional $5 billion when the American people are begging us to 
reduce spending.
  Mr. Chair, I believe that we must take the needed steps to get 
federal spending under control. The Democratic Majority has clearly 
demonstrated that it is out of touch with the American people by 
passing the $862 billion ``Stimulus'' and the $1 trillion ObamaCare 
bill. H.R. 4785 embodies that same attitude that we must spend our way 
back to prosperity, when we have seen it fail time after time.
  Therefore, despite my support for energy efficiency programs and the 
people who would benefit from this legislation, I urge all of my 
colleagues to listen to the American people and curb federal spending.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule.
  In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by 
the Committee on Agriculture printed in the bill, it shall be in order 
to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the 
5-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in 
part A of House Report 111-594. The amendment in the nature of a 
substitute shall be considered as read.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:

                               H.R. 4785

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. HOME STAR ENERGY EFFICIENCY LOAN PROGRAM.

       (a) Definitions.--In this section:

[[Page H6783]]

       (1) Eligible participant.--The term ``eligible 
     participant'' means a homeowner who receives financial 
     assistance from a qualified financing entity to carry out 
     qualifying energy savings measures pursuant to this section, 
     and who is not also a qualified consumer under section 2.
       (2) Qualified financing entity.--The term ``qualified 
     financing entity'' means a State, political subdivision of a 
     State, tribal government, electric utility, natural gas 
     utility, nonprofit or community-based organization, energy 
     service company, retailer, or any other entity that--
       (A) meets the eligibility requirements of this section; and
       (B) is designated by the Governor of a State in accordance 
     with subsection (f)(1),

     except that an entity that is an eligible entity under 
     section 2 shall not be a qualified financing entity.
       (3) Qualified loan program mechanism.--The term ``qualified 
     loan program mechanism'' means a mechanism for the 
     establishment and operation of a loan program that is--
       (A) administered by a qualified financing entity; and
       (B) funded in significant part--
       (i) by funds provided by or overseen by a State; or
       (ii) through the energy loan program of the Federal 
     National Mortgage Association.
       (4) Qualifying energy savings measure.--The term 
     ``qualifying energy savings measure'' means a measure listed 
     under subsection (c)(1) or (2) or stipulated in a whole-house 
     analysis under subsection (c)(3).
       (b) Establishment.--The Secretary of Energy shall establish 
     a Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program under which the 
     Secretary of Energy shall offer loans at zero percent 
     interest to States to support financial assistance provided 
     by qualified financing entities for the installation of 
     qualifying energy savings measures.
       (c) Energy Efficiency Measures and Standards.--The 
     Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Agriculture, shall publish--
       (1) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, a master list of residential energy efficiency 
     measures determined to be cost-effective, readily available 
     from commercial sources, to be permanently installed in a 
     residence, and capable of supporting measurement and 
     verification of the energy savings that results from their 
     adoption;
       (2) additions to such a list, approved by the Secretary of 
     Energy, of other residential energy efficiency measures that 
     are--
       (A) recommended by the Secretary of Agriculture;
       (B) calculated to achieve sufficient energy savings that 
     they will achieve a simple payback within 10 years or less; 
     and
       (C) permanently installed in a residence;
       (3) specifications for whole-house energy performance 
     analyses simulating energy use before and after a retrofit 
     utilizing measures from the master list published pursuant to 
     paragraphs (1) and (2) and such other permanent structural 
     measures as can be demonstrated, when installed and operated 
     as intended, to improve residential energy efficiency in a 
     manner that can be determined with confidence to be cost-
     effective and to recover their own cost in energy cost 
     savings within the term of a proposed loan; and
       (4) a protocol for measurement and verification of the 
     energy savings that have resulted from any and all energy 
     efficiency measures taken with respect to a residence and 
     financed in whole or in part pursuant to this title.
       (d) Eligibility of Qualified Financing Entities.--To be 
     eligible to participate in the Home Star Loan Program, a 
     qualified financing entity shall--
       (1) offer a financing product under which eligible 
     participants may pay over time for the cost to the eligible 
     participant (after all applicable Federal, State, local, and 
     other rebates or incentives are applied) of installations 
     described in subsection (b);
       (2) require all financed installations to be performed by 
     contractors in a manner that meets building code requirements 
     and other appropriate minimum standards;
       (3) establish standard underwriting criteria to determine 
     the eligibility of Home Star Loan Program applicants, which 
     criteria shall be consistent with--
       (A) with respect to unsecured consumer loan programs, 
     standard underwriting criteria used under the energy loan 
     program of the Federal National Mortgage Association; or
       (B) with respect to secured loans or other forms of 
     financial assistance, commercially recognized best practices 
     applicable to the form of financial assistance being provided 
     (as determined by the designated entity administering the 
     Home Star Loan Program in the State); and
       (4) undertake particular efforts to make such loans 
     available in public use microdata areas that have a poverty 
     rate of 12 percent or more in a proportion of total loans 
     made at least equal to the proportion the number of residents 
     in such areas bears to the total population of the area 
     served by that qualified financing entity.
       (e) Allocation.--In allocating 75 percent of the loan funds 
     made available to States for each fiscal year under this 
     section, the Secretary of Energy shall use the formula used 
     to allocate funds to States to carry out State energy 
     conservation plans established under part D of title III of 
     the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6321 et 
     seq.), with appropriate modifications to reflect the funds to 
     be provided in States for loans under section 2. In 
     allocating the remaining 25 percent of the loan funds made 
     available to States for each fiscal year under this section, 
     the Secretary of Energy may vary the result of the formula to 
     recognize and reward those States that make the best progress 
     in providing loans to low-income areas pursuant to subsection 
     (d)(4).
       (f) Qualified Financing Entities.--Before making funds 
     available to a State under this section, the Secretary of 
     Energy shall require the Governor of the State to provide to 
     the Secretary of Energy a letter of agreement that the 
     State--
       (1) will use the funds provided pursuant to this section 
     solely as provided in this section;
       (2) has 1 or more qualified financing entities that meet 
     the requirements of this section;
       (3) has established, or has required its designated 
     qualified financing entities to establish, a qualified loan 
     program mechanism that--
       (A) will use a quality assurance program or another 
     appropriate methodology to ensure energy savings;
       (B) incorporates an effective repayment mechanism, which 
     may include--
       (i) on-utility-bill repayment;
       (ii) tax assessment or other form of property assessment 
     financing;
       (iii) municipal service charges;
       (iv) energy or energy efficiency services contracts;
       (v) energy efficiency power purchase agreements;
       (vi) unsecured loans applying the underwriting requirements 
     of the energy loan program of the Federal National Mortgage 
     Association; or
       (vii) alternative contractual repayment mechanisms that 
     have been demonstrated to have appropriate risk mitigation 
     features;
       (4) will provide, in a timely manner, all information 
     regarding the administration of the Home Star Loan Program as 
     the Secretary of Energy may require to permit the Secretary 
     of Energy to meet program evaluation requirements; and
       (5) will commit to the full repayment of the loaned funds 
     to the Secretary of Energy by a date not later than 20 years 
     from the date of the loan closing.
       (g) Use of Funds.--Funds made available to States for 
     carrying out the Home Star Loan Program may be used to 
     support financing mechanisms offered by qualified financing 
     entities to eligible participants, including--
       (1) interest rate reductions to interest rates as low as 
     zero percent;
       (2) loan loss reserves or other forms of credit 
     enhancement;
       (3) revolving loan funds from which qualified financing 
     entities may offer direct loans; or
       (4) other debt instruments necessary--
       (A) to use available funds to obtain appropriate leverage 
     through private investment; and
       (B) to support widespread deployment of energy efficiency 
     programs.
       (h) Use of Repaid Funds.--In the case of a revolving loan 
     fund described in subsection (g)(3), a qualified financing 
     entity may use funds repaid by eligible participants under 
     the Home Star Loan Program to provide financial assistance 
     for additional eligible participants for installations 
     described in subsection (b) in a manner that is consistent 
     with this section.
       (i) Administrative Costs.--A State may permit a qualified 
     financing entity to charge interest of 3 percent to cover the 
     costs of loan administration and personnel and program 
     management, or for establishing a loan loss reserve.
       (j) Reporting Requirements.--The Secretary of Energy shall 
     report to the Congress on the implementation of this title, 
     including the energy savings and cost savings estimated to be 
     achieved, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
     of this Act, and again by not later than 2 years after the 
     date of enactment of this section.
       (k) Assessment by Government Accountability Office.--The 
     Comptroller General shall, by not later than 18 months after 
     the date of enactment of this Act, prepare and submit to the 
     Congress an analysis and report determining--
       (1) the actual taxpayer funds made available for the 
     program created in this section;
       (2) the actual amounts of such funds made available to 
     eligible participants or qualified consumers in the program 
     created in this section;
       (3) the extent of measured and verified residential energy 
     savings achieved and expected to be achieved on an ongoing 
     basis as a function of this program;
       (4) the extent to which funds were made available to 
     support commercial or industrial energy efficiency measures 
     under this program;
       (5) the extent to which funds made available were expended 
     for training, administration, program support by contractors, 
     or trade association activities under this program; and
       (6) the consistency and rigor of the standards for energy 
     efficiency and for measurement and verification adopted and 
     implemented by this program.
       (l) Authorization.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
     for purposes of this section $850,000,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2010 through 2014, which shall remain available until 
     expended.

     SEC. 2. RURAL ENERGY SAVINGS PROGRAM.

       (a) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means--
       (A) any public or cooperative electric utility that is 
     eligible to borrow from the Rural Utilities Service 
     electrification program authorized under the Rural 
     Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) that 
     serves a rural area;
       (B) any current borrower of the Rural Utilities Service 
     electrification program authorized under that Act; or
       (C) any entity primarily owned or controlled by an entity 
     described in subparagraph (A) or (B).
       (2) Energy efficiency measure.--The term ``energy 
     efficiency measure'', with respect to property served by an 
     eligible entity, means a

[[Page H6784]]

     fixed structural improvement and investment in a cost-
     effective, commercial off-the-shelf technology to reduce 
     residential energy use that is either--
       (A) included in the master list published under section 
     1(c)(1) and (2); or
       (B) stipulated in a whole-house simulation conducted 
     pursuant to section 1(c)(3).
       (3) Farm efficiency measure.--The term ``farm efficiency 
     measure'' means an energy saving application that is a fixed 
     improvement installed in or attached to a building or 
     structure on a farm at a total loan value for that farm of 
     $50,000 or less, that is not otherwise an energy efficiency 
     measure, and that would achieve energy savings sufficient to 
     repay the cost of the measure in 10 years or fewer.
       (4) Qualified consumer.--The term ``qualified consumer'' 
     means a consumer served by an eligible entity that has the 
     ability to repay a loan made under subsection (d), as 
     determined by an eligible entity, and who has not accepted 
     any loan as an eligible participant pursuant to section 1.
       (5) Qualified entity.--The term ``qualified entity'' means 
     any organization that the Secretary of Agriculture determines 
     has significant experience in providing eligible entities 
     with--
       (A) advice on energy, environmental, energy efficiency, and 
     information research and technology;
       (B) training, education, and consulting;
       (C) guidance in energy and operational issues and rural 
     community and economic development; and
       (D) other relevant assistance, as determined by the 
     Secretary of Agriculture.
       (6) Rural area.--The term ``rural area'' means any area 
     other than--
       (A) a city or town that has a population of greater than 
     50,000 inhabitants; and
       (B) any urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or 
     town described in subparagraph (A).
       (b) Establishment.--The Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
     through the Rural Utility Service, shall establish the Rural 
     Star Energy Savings Program for the purpose of making loans 
     to eligible entities that agree to accept the loan funds 
     authorized pursuant to this section to make loans to 
     qualified consumers for the purpose of implementing 
     residential energy efficiency measures or farm efficiency 
     measures approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.
       (c) Loans to Eligible Entities.--
       (1) Loans authorized.--Subject to paragraph (2), the 
     Secretary of Agriculture shall make loans to an eligible 
     entity that agrees that the loan funds will be used to make 
     loans to qualified consumers as described in subsection (d) 
     for the purpose of implementing one or more energy efficiency 
     measures, or a farm efficiency measure in response to an 
     application by an eligible entity.
       (2) List, plan, and measurement and verification 
     required.--
       (A) In general.--As a condition to receiving a loan under 
     paragraph (1), an eligible entity shall--
       (i) establish a list of energy efficiency measures or farm 
     efficiency measures expected to decrease energy use or costs 
     of a qualified consumer from the master list published under 
     section 1(c)(1) and (2);
       (ii) establish a procedure to identify to the Secretary of 
     Agriculture any specific farm efficiency measures for which 
     the eligible entity seeks authority to make a loan;
       (iii) prepare an implementation plan for use of the loan 
     funds to ensure that a loan to a qualified consumer is for 
     energy efficiency investments that will achieve savings 
     sufficient to service the loan during the term of the loan; 
     and
       (iv) provide for appropriate measurement and verification 
     as prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure the 
     actual use and effectiveness of the energy efficiency loans 
     made by the eligible entity.
       (B) Revision of list of energy efficiency measures.--An 
     eligible entity may update the list required under 
     subparagraph (A)(i) to account for efficiency technologies 
     added to the master list published under section 1(c)(1) 
     pursuant to section 1(c)(2), or farm efficiency measures 
     approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.
       (C) Existing energy efficiency programs.--An eligible 
     entity that, on or before the date of the enactment of this 
     Act, has already established an energy efficiency program for 
     qualified consumers may submit an existing list of energy 
     efficiency measures or farm efficiency measures, 
     implementation plans, or measurement and verification systems 
     to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (A) to the 
     Secretary of Agriculture and may use such list until and 
     unless such list is inconsistent with the measures published 
     pursuant to section 1(c)(1) and (2).
       (3) Loan terms for loans to eligible entities.--
       (A) No interest.--A loan made to an eligible entity under 
     paragraph (1) shall bear no interest.
       (B) Repayment.--With respect to a loan under paragraph 
     (1)--
       (i) the term shall not exceed 20 years from the date the 
     loan is closed; and
       (ii) except as provided in subparagraph (D), the repayment 
     of each advance shall be amortized for a period not to exceed 
     10 years.
       (C) Amount of advances.--Any advance of loan funds to an 
     eligible entity in any single year shall not exceed 30 
     percent of the approved loan amount.
       (D) Special advance for start-up activities.--
       (i) In general.--In order to assist an eligible entity in 
     defraying initial start-up costs, the Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall allow an eligible entity to request a 
     special advance.
       (ii) Amount of special advance.--No eligible entity may 
     receive a special advance under this subparagraph for an 
     amount that is greater than 4 percent of the loan amount 
     received by the eligible entity under paragraph (1).
       (iii) Repayment.--The repayment of the special advance 
     shall be required within 10 years after the special advance 
     is made and, at the election of the eligible entity, may be 
     deferred to the end of the 10-year period.
       (E) Limitation on advances.--All advances shall be made 
     under a loan described in paragraph (1) within the first 10 
     years of the term of the loan.
       (d) Loans to Qualified Consumers.--
       (1) Terms of loans.--Loans made by an eligible entity to 
     qualified consumers using loan funds provided by the 
     Secretary of Agriculture under subsection (c)--
       (A) may bear interest, not to exceed three percent, to be 
     used by the eligible entity for purposes such as establishing 
     a loan loss reserve and to offset personnel and program costs 
     of the eligible entity to provide the loans;
       (B) shall finance only energy efficiency measures or farm 
     efficiency measures for the purpose of decreasing energy 
     usage or costs of a qualified consumer by an amount such that 
     a loan term of not more than 10 years will achieve a simple 
     payback of the amount invested;
       (C) shall not be used to fund purchases of, or 
     modifications to, personal property unless the personal 
     property--
       (i) is or becomes attached to real property as a fixture; 
     or
       (ii) is a manufactured home;
       (D) shall be repaid through charges added to the electric 
     bill for the property for, or at which energy efficiency 
     measures are or will be implemented, except that this 
     requirement shall not be construed to prohibit--
       (i) the voluntary prepayment of a loan by the owner of the 
     property; or
       (ii) the use of any additional repayment mechanisms that 
     are--

       (I) demonstrated to have appropriate risk mitigation 
     features, as determined by the eligible entity; or
       (II) required if the qualified consumer is no longer a 
     customer of the eligible entity; and

       (E) shall require an energy audit to determine the impact 
     of proposed energy efficiency measures on the energy costs 
     and consumption of the qualified consumer.
       (2) Contractors.--In addition to any other qualified 
     general contractor, eligible entities may serve as general 
     contractors.
       (3) Use of other energy efficiency incentives.--Energy 
     efficiency incentives made available under any other Act, 
     including rebates, grants, or any other payments, may be used 
     to reduce the amount of a loan made under this subsection to 
     qualified consumers in order to meet the requirement of 
     paragraph (1)(B).
       (e) Measurement, Verification, Training, and Technical 
     Assistance.--
       (1) Duties of the secretary.--The Secretary of 
     Agriculture--
       (A) shall establish an implementation and measurement and 
     verification advisory committee consisting of representatives 
     of eligible entities and qualified entities;
       (B) may enter into cooperative agreements with qualified 
     entities to provide technical assistance and training to the 
     employees of eligible entities to carry out this section; and
       (C) shall establish a process to compile and maintain a 
     directory of energy efficiency auditors that are used by 
     eligible entities to carry out this section.
       (2) Exception.--
       (A) The Secretary of Agriculture shall not utilize the 
     authority provided under this subsection or subsection (j) 
     to--
       (i) develop, adopt, or implement a public labeling system 
     that rates and compares the energy performance among 
     qualified consumers; or
       (ii) require the public disclosure of an energy performance 
     evaluation or rating developed for any qualified consumer.
       (B) Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude--
       (i) the computation, collection, or use, by the Secretary 
     of Agriculture, eligible entity, or qualified entity for the 
     purposes of aggregating information on the rating and 
     comparison of the energy performance among qualified 
     consumers with and without energy efficiency features or on 
     energy performance evaluation or rating;
       (ii) the use and publication of aggregate data (without 
     identifying individual qualified consumers) based on 
     information referred to in clause (i) to determine or 
     demonstrate the performance of this program; or
       (iii) the provision of information referred to in clause 
     (i) with respect to a qualified consumer:

       (I) to the State, eligible consumer, eligible entity, or 
     qualified entity, as necessary to enable carrying out this 
     title; or
       (II) for purposes of prosecuting fraud and abuse.

       (f) Fast Start Demonstration Projects.--The Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall, not later than 90 days after the enactment 
     of this section, enter into agreements with eligible entities 
     (or groups of eligible entities) that have established an 
     energy efficiency program described in subsection (c)(2)(C) 
     to establish an energy efficiency loan demonstration projects 
     consistent with the purposes of this section that--
       (1) implement approaches to energy audits and investments 
     in energy efficiency measures or farm efficiency measures 
     that yield measurable and predictable savings;
       (2) use measurement and verification processes to determine 
     the effectiveness of energy efficiency loans made by eligible 
     entities;
       (3) include training for employees of eligible entities, 
     including any contractors of such entities, to implement or 
     oversee the activities described in paragraphs (1) and (2);
       (4) provide for the participation of a majority of eligible 
     entities in a State;
       (5) reduce the need for generating capacity;
       (6) provide efficiency loans to--
       (A) not fewer than 20,000 consumers, in the case of a 
     single eligible entity; or

[[Page H6785]]

       (B) not fewer than 80,000 consumers, in the case of a group 
     of eligible entities; and
       (7) serve areas where 15 percent or more of consumers 
     reside--
       (A) in manufactured homes; or
       (B) in housing units that are more than 50 years old.
       (g) Additional Authority.--The authority provided in this 
     section is in addition to any authority of the Secretary of 
     Agriculture to offer loans under any other law.
       (h) Effective Period.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
     section, the loans and other expenditures required to be made 
     under this section are authorized to be made during each of 
     fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
       (i) Regulations.--
       (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
     subsection, not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall 
     promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement 
     this section.
       (2) Procedure.--The promulgation of the regulations and 
     administration of this section shall be made without regard 
     to--
       (A) chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly 
     known as the ``Paperwork Reduction Act''); and
       (B) the Statement of Policy of the Secretary of Agriculture 
     effective July 24, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 13804), relating to 
     notices of proposed rulemaking and public participation in 
     rulemaking.
       (3) Congressional review of agency rulemaking.--In carrying 
     out this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall use the 
     authority provided under section 808 of title 5, United 
     States Code.
       (4) Interim regulations.--Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) 
     and (2), to the extent regulations are necessary to carry out 
     any provision of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture 
     shall implement such regulations through the promulgation of 
     an interim rule.
       (j) Audit of Program.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall 
     conduct an audit of the program authorized by this section to 
     ensure that the funds provided to eligible entities under 
     this section are used in accordance with the purpose of this 
     section.
       (k) Reporting Requirements.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
     shall report to the Congress on the implementation of this 
     Act, including the energy savings and costs savings estimated 
     to be achieved, not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, and again not later than 2 years after 
     the date of enactment of this Act.
       (l) Assesment by Government Accountability Office.--The 
     Comptroller General shall, by not later than 18 months after 
     the date of enactment of this Act, prepare and submit to the 
     Congress an analysis and report determining--
       (1) the actual taxpayer funds made available for the 
     program created in this section;
       (2) the actual amounts of such funds made available to 
     eligible entities for qualified consumers in the program 
     created in this section;
       (3) the extent of measured and verified energy savings 
     achieved and expected to be achieved on an ongoing basis as a 
     function of the program created in this section;
       (4) the extent to which funds made available were expended 
     for training, administration, and program support by eligible 
     entities and qualified entities under the program created in 
     this section; and
       (5) the consistency and rigor of the standards for energy 
     efficiency and for measurement and verification adopted and 
     implemented by program created in this section.
       (m) Authorization.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
     for purposes of this section $150,000,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2010 through 2014, which shall remain available until 
     expended.

  The CHAIR. No amendment to that amendment in the nature of a 
substitute is in order except those printed in part B of the report. 
Each amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, 
by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall 
be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and 
controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to 
amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the 
question.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Holden

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in 
part B of House Report 111-594.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 1, line 17, strike ``and''.
       Page 1, after line 17, insert the following new 
     subparagraph:
       (B) is not an entity that has an ongoing capital repayment 
     obligation to the Department of the Treasury pursuant to the 
     Troubled Asset Relief Program (Public Law 110-343, 122  Stat.  
     3765); and
       Page 2, line 1, redesignate subparagraph (B) as 
     subparagraph (C).
       Page 6, after line 18, insert the following new paragraph 
     (and redesignate the subsequent paragraphs accordingly):
       (2) will use the funds provided under this section to 
     supplement and not supplant any prior or planned Federal and 
     State funding provided to carry out energy efficiency 
     programs, on the condition that, to the extent the Secretary 
     finds that a State has supplanted other such programs with 
     funding under this section, the Secretary may with hold an 
     equivalent amount of funding from allocations for the State 
     under this section;
       Page 10, strike lines 5 through 7.
       Page 10, line 8, strike ``(5)'' and insert ``(4)''.
       Page 10, line 12, strike ``(6)'' and insert ``(5)''.
       Page 10, line 17, after ``this section'' insert ``, 
     provided that enactment of this Act would not increase direct 
     spending,''.
       Page 18, strike lines 3 through 8 and insert the following:
       (C) shall not be used to fund--
       (i) the purchase of a manufactured home; or
       (ii) the purchase of any other personal property unless the 
     personal property is or becomes attached to real property as 
     a fixture;
       (D) shall not be used to fund modifications to personal 
     property unless the personal property--
       (i) is or becomes attached to real property as a fixture; 
     or
       (ii) is a manufactured home;
       Page 18, line 9, strike ``(D)'' and insert ``(E)''.
       Page 18, line 24, strike ``(E)'' and insert ``(F)''.
       Page 20, line 8, strike ``(j)'' and insert ``(i)''.
       Page 25, line 19, after ``this section'' insert ``, 
     provided that enactment of this Act would not increase direct 
     spending,''.
       At the end, add the following:

     SEC. 3. PROHIBITION.

       Neither the Secretary of Energy nor the Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall provide any funds authorized by this Act to 
     any contractor that employs an employee to work in a 
     consumer's home if that employee has been convicted of, or 
     plead guilty to, a crime of child molestation, rape, or any 
     other form of sexual assault.

     SEC. 4. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

       (a) A loan shall not be provided to a Federal employee 
     under this Act if any of the following apply to the employee:
       (1) The employee has a seriously delinquent tax debt (as 
     determined under subsection (b)).
       (2) The employee received a payment under the Low-Income 
     Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.) 
     but was ineligible to receive the payment under the criteria 
     described in section 2605(b)(2) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 
     8624(b)(2)).
       (3) The employee has been officially disciplined for 
     violations of subpart G of the Standards of Ethical Conduct 
     for Employees of the Executive Branch for viewing, 
     downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child 
     pornography, on a Federal Government computer or while 
     performing official Federal Government duties.
       (b) For purposes of subsection (a)(1), a ``seriously 
     delinquent tax debt'' means an outstanding debt under the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for which a notice of lien has 
     been filed in public records pursuant to section 6323 of such 
     Code, except that such term does not include--
       (1) a debt that is being paid in a timely manner pursuant 
     to an agreement under section 6159 or section 7122 of such 
     Code; or
       (2) a debt with respect to which a collection due process 
     hearing under section 6330 of such Code is requested, 
     pending, or completed and no payment is required.

     SEC. 5. WRONGFUL USE OR DIVERSION OF PROGRAM FUNDS.

       The Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Agriculture 
     shall take such steps as are necessary and appropriate, 
     including requirements for the immediate repayment of Federal 
     assistance, to ensure that none of the funds authorized in 
     this Act are used--
       (1) in violation of law;
       (2) in a manner that creates a significant threat to human 
     health or safety;
       (3) in a manner that undercuts the integrity and 
     accountability of the program under this Act; or
       (4) for purposes other than those serving the objectives of 
     this Act.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 1620, the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden) and a Member opposed each will control 10 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

                              {time}  1300

  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, the manager's amendment contains the 
following provisions: It prohibits entities with ongoing TARP 
obligations from participating in the program. It mandates that funds 
provided by the legislation must be used to supplement and not to 
supplant other energy efficiency funding. It says that no report has to 
be filed by the comptroller general regarding the extent to which funds 
provided by the legislation are used to support commercial or 
industrial energy measures. It prohibits any additions to direct 
spending with respect to the legislation. It forbids funds from being 
used to purchase personal property, including manufactured homes; but 
allows funds to be used for modifications to manufactured homes.
  The manager's amendment prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture from 
promulgating regulations regarding a

[[Page H6786]]

home labeling program. It also prohibits the wrongful use or diversion 
of program funds, as well as prohibits providing funds to any 
contractor who employs any person who has been convicted of, or pled 
guilty to, any form of sexual assault. Finally, it prohibits Federal 
employees from receiving loan funds if they have seriously delinquent 
tax debt, have received a payment in violation of LIHEAA, or have been 
officially disciplined for viewing, downloading, or exchanging 
pornography on a Federal Government computer or while performing 
official Federal Government duties.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I rise to claim the time in opposition, 
although I do not oppose the amendment.
  The CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Oklahoma is 
recognized for 10 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LUCAS. While I claim the time in opposition, I would state for 
the Record that I support my good friend from Pennsylvania's amendment. 
I support his efforts to import more integrity into this. What I am 
afraid of is a duplicative program. More importantly, I support his 
attempt to make sure that that the program does not affect direct 
spending. As my good friend has mentioned, his amendment prohibits any 
direct or mandatory spending. What it does not do, however, is prevent 
appropriators from adding to our national debt by spending 
discretionary dollars on the program.
  While I support my friend's efforts to be truly fiscally responsible, 
this act should sunset if it is not deficit neutral. Again, I support 
Mr. Holden's amendment and urge others to do the same. I would prefer 
language that more directly prevents direct spending, but this is what 
we have.
  Mr. Chair, I yield such time as he may consume to the ranking member 
of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Barton.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I too rise in support of the Holden amendment. 
It is not as good as our motion to recommit from back in May, it is not 
as good as the Barton amendment that was offered to the Rules 
Committee, but it is strangely similar. So if flattery is the most 
sincere form of compliment, then I am complimented that you have taken 
a page out of our playbook. It is going to make our coming motion to 
recommit much more difficult to develop, but I can assure you that 
agile minds are working as we speak on that motion to recommit. But for 
purposes of this debate, both Mr. Lucas and myself do support your 
amendment and urge its adoption.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the gentlemen from 
North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas for their support of the manager's 
amendment, and encourage its passage.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania will be 
postponed.


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Cuellar

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in 
part B of House Report 111-594.
  Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       (n) The Secretary of Agriculture shall provide assistance 
     and technical advice to the qualified entities providing 
     loans under this bill in conducting outreach for the purposes 
     of increasing participation of economically distressed rural 
     communities with unemployment rates above the national 
     average, or rural areas that lack basic living necessities, 
     such as water and sewer systems, electricity, and safe, 
     sanitary housing, in the program established under this 
     section.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 1620, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Cuellar) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today to encourage my colleagues to support my 
amendment to the Rural Energy Savings Program. This amendment will 
direct the Secretary of Agriculture to provide assistance and advice to 
the entities providing loans under this act to increase participation 
in the areas of high unemployment. This important amendment will go a 
long way towards making sure those areas that have been hit the hardest 
are about to take advantage of this legislation.
  As you know, unemployment is still a real problem for many Americans 
throughout the country. In my congressional district, as an example, I 
have two counties that are significantly above the national average for 
unemployment, which is about 9.4. Hidalgo County is suffering at 11.1 
percent, and Starr County is at 17.3 percent.
  This amendment will make sure that these communities are not left out 
of this good piece of legislation. Under my amendment, USDA will 
provide its expertise to the entities providing loans for the purposes 
of outreach. This amendment will increase economic activity in the 
areas that need it the most while providing valuable energy cost 
savings.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. 
Holden, and the other folks who have been working very hard, and also 
the ranking members. I thank you, and stand in strong support of this 
piece of legislation along with my amendment. I ask Members to vote 
``yes'' on my amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. I claim the time in opposition, Mr. Chairman, although I 
do not oppose the amendment.
  The CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Oklahoma is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LUCAS. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This amendment would simply direct the Secretary of Agriculture to 
provide assistance and technical advice to electric cooperatives who 
have been approved as qualified entities in an effort to improve the 
outreach to the rural communities it serves with unemployment rates 
above the national average, as the author noted. As I understand the 
amendment, it does not require special treatment; rather it focuses on 
promotion of the program to those communities that are hit hard by the 
failing economy.
  I think the gentleman's intentions are laudable, and given the 
legislative framework that the majority leadership has us working in, I 
do not oppose this amendment. I do, however, think there are better 
ways to bring cheap and efficient energy to these communities.
  The prohibition on lending in the last farm bill to increase base 
load generation from clean coal, natural gas, and nuclear technologies 
is the biggest hidden tax on rural Americans that I can possibly think 
of, administered by the present majority leadership.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CUELLAR. I want to thank the ranking member for his support and 
again thank Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Holden, Mr. Clyburn, and all of the 
folks who have worked so hard. I ask Members to support this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Cuellar).
  The amendment was agreed to.


          Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mrs. McCarthy of New York

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in 
part B of House Report 111-594.
  Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

     SEC. __. PRIORITY FOR ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES 
                   AND VETERANS.

       In providing loans to eligible participants under section 1 
     or qualified consumers under section 2, the lender shall give 
     priority to members of the Armed Forces serving on active 
     duty and to veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, 
     United States Code).

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 1620, the gentlewoman from 
New

[[Page H6787]]

York (Mrs. McCarthy) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from New York.
  Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. I want to thank Chairmen Peterson and 
Waxman and Ranking Members Lucas and Barton for bringing forward this 
important legislation. I also thank my colleague from Pennsylvania, Tim 
Holden.
  Mr. Chairman, energy costs in this country continue to rise. For many 
families these costs are becoming an unbearable burden. I support this 
bill and believe that it will be a great help to many American 
families. H.R. 4785 creates the tools necessary to give homeowners 
control over their energy costs. The loans provided for in this bill 
will allow homeowners to invest in energy efficiency measures that will 
provide long-term savings to many, many families. It will help bring 
down energy costs for homeowners, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, 
and help us transition towards a clean-energy economy.
  Although all Americans are facing the reality of rising energy costs, 
for our active duty troops and our veterans, the challenges of 
skyrocketing energy costs can be even more problematic. The members of 
our active duty military must often balance their household and service 
requirements. Does this still get your point across? I believe it does.
  Our veterans, both our new veterans just starting out and our older 
veterans living on a fixed income, also have unique challenges when it 
comes to their energy costs.

                              {time}  1310

  I believe it is important that we give priority in this bill to those 
men and women who have sacrificed and who continue to sacrifice for our 
country. This is what my amendment does. Let us make sure that, with 
all the challenges in life, our active duty members and veterans are 
able to worry a little less about their electricity bills.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I rise to claim the time in opposition to 
the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Oklahoma is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. LUCAS. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  In agriculture, we've learned the hard way, Mr. Chairman, that carve-
outs and programs generally reduce the effectiveness of the programs. 
It's a simple economic principle. By focusing on the beneficiary 
instead of the results, the marginal utility is lowered.
  Now, having said that, I can think of no more deserving group than 
the brave men and women of our Armed Services to be prioritized in any 
Federal program. Yes, I support and encourage my colleagues to support 
this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. McCarthy).
  The amendment was agreed to.


               Amendment No. 4 Offered by Mr. Butterfield

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 printed in 
part B of House Report 111-594.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I have a parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for a parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. What is the protocol when the author of an 
amendment is not on the floor and the amendment is called?
  The CHAIR. The Chair is trying to ascertain whether the proponent 
will offer the amendment.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Is there a prescribed waiting period? Are we in 
a holding pattern around an airport or, within a minute, no-show, no-
go?
  The CHAIR. The Chair will respect Members' opportunities to offer 
amendments, and the Chair will wait momentarily until finding out 
whether the amendment will be offered.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent to 
continue with the bill. If the author is not here, he has lost his 
opportunity to offer it. So I would ask unanimous consent to move 
forward in consideration of pending business of the House and to skip 
over the amendment.
  The CHAIR. This is the last amendment.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I stand to offer this amendment as a 
designee.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman will be recognized for that purpose.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, requesting the right to object, I 
seek recognition to object if it is under the rules. We don't know. I 
have great faith in Mr. Butterfield, but I am not sure he has been 
authorized by Mr. Inslee. If Mr. Inslee is not here, I would object, 
with all due respect to Mr. Butterfield's substituting for him, without 
knowing whether Mr. Inslee wants him to.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I am told that the gentleman from 
Washington is en route to the floor. I simply stood to offer the 
amendment to make it in order. The gentleman who offered the amendment 
should be here momentarily.
  The CHAIR. The Chair then will wait until the gentleman arrives.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Will the Chair give that consideration to 
Members of the minority if we happen to be tardy and dawdling? We 
certainly are cognizant of the graciousness, but the House of 
Representatives is a busy place, and I always thought if you weren't 
here, you lost your spot in the lineup.
  The CHAIR. Under House Resolution 1620, unanimous consent is not 
required for a designee to offer an amendment. The Chair is prepared to 
recognize the gentleman from North Carolina. The Chair has actually 
been very nonbiased to both sides, and intends to be fair to both 
sides.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I am not disparaging of the Chair's nonbiasness. 
I hope we will have that similar consideration.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized to offer 
the amendment.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I would like to proceed as the 
designee.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 4, after line 12, insert the following:
     In determining which residential energy efficiency measures 
     to include in the list published under paragraph (1) or (2), 
     the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary 
     of Agriculture, shall consider advanced performance 
     initiatives, such as the Passive House Standard as certified 
     by the Passive House Institute US.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 1620, the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Butterfield) and a Member opposed each will control 
5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Let me apologize to the Chair, to the ranking member 
and to my colleagues for all of the confusion, but we are ready to 
proceed on this matter.
  Mr. Chairman, I have reviewed this amendment. It appears to be in 
keeping with the spirit of the underlying legislation. I would urge my 
colleagues to support it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to 
the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I would ask the author's designee, Mr. 
Butterfield, if he would engage in a colloquy on this amendment.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. To the extent that I can, Mr. Barton.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Would you define what a ``passive house'' is?
  I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. I do not have that material in front of me, Mr. 
Barton.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Okay. So we're getting a pig-in-the-poke here; 
is that right?
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. You certainly appreciate the disadvantage at which I 
find myself.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Chairman, I am not 
totally opposed to this amendment. I don't know too much more about it 
than Mr. Butterfield, but I do know that this ``passive house'' 
concept, while it saves energy once it is in place, is more expensive 
to construct. It is my understanding that the concept that the 
amendment supports is substantially more expensive than

[[Page H6788]]

standard construction. That may be appropriate when people have high 
incomes and when the cost of construction is really of little interest; 
but for most of my constituents, Mr. Chairman, the initial cost is of 
significance.
  Again, I don't think there is a tremendous downside to this 
amendment, but I think it should be pointed out that if the Department 
of Energy, which it is not under the amendment required to mandate 
this, did direct that it had to meet this test, you would raise 
construction costs substantially, and I think that is something that 
should be of concern.
  I am going to oppose the amendment but not vigorously. I do think 
that the author of the amendment usually should be on the floor when 
the amendment is offered, and I would hope that we would take notice 
that the author was not. We should give kudos to Mr. Butterfield for 
substituting in his place.
  I would urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. I thank the gentleman for his kind comments.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from North Carolina (Mr. Butterfield).
  The amendment was agreed to.

                              {time}  1320


                       Announcement by the Chair

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will now 
resume on the amendment printed in part B of House Report 111-594 on 
which further proceedings were postponed.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Holden

  The CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Holden) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the 
ayes prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.
  The Clerk redesignated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 402, 
noes 0, not voting 36, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 529]

                               AYES--402

     Aderholt
     Adler (NJ)
     Akin
     Alexander
     Altmire
     Andrews
     Arcuri
     Austria
     Baca
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett
     Barton (TX)
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blumenauer
     Boccieri
     Bonner
     Bono Mack
     Boozman
     Bordallo
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Braley (IA)
     Bright
     Broun (GA)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown, Corrine
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Buchanan
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Butterfield
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cantor
     Cao
     Capito
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Carter
     Cassidy
     Castle
     Chaffetz
     Chandler
     Childers
     Chu
     Clarke
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Coble
     Coffman (CO)
     Cohen
     Cole
     Conaway
     Connolly (VA)
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello
     Courtney
     Crenshaw
     Critz
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Dahlkemper
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (KY)
     Davis (TN)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     Dent
     Deutch
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Djou
     Doggett
     Donnelly (IN)
     Doyle
     Dreier
     Driehaus
     Duncan
     Edwards (MD)
     Edwards (TX)
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Etheridge
     Faleomavaega
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Flake
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foster
     Foxx
     Frank (MA)
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Fudge
     Gallegly
     Garamendi
     Gerlach
     Giffords
     Gingrey (GA)
     Gohmert
     Gonzalez
     Goodlatte
     Gordon (TN)
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (MO)
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Griffith
     Grijalva
     Guthrie
     Gutierrez
     Hall (NY)
     Hall (TX)
     Halvorson
     Hare
     Harper
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Heinrich
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Herseth Sandlin
     Higgins
     Hill
     Himes
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hirono
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Hunter
     Inglis
     Inslee
     Israel
     Issa
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson Lee (TX)
     Jenkins
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan (OH)
     Kagen
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kilroy
     Kind
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kirkpatrick (AZ)
     Kissell
     Klein (FL)
     Kline (MN)
     Kosmas
     Kratovil
     Kucinich
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Latta
     Lee (CA)
     Lee (NY)
     Levin
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Loebsack
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lujan
     Lummis
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Lynch
     Mack
     Maffei
     Maloney
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     Markey (CO)
     Markey (MA)
     Marshall
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy (CA)
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McCollum
     McCotter
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McHenry
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McMahon
     McMorris Rodgers
     McNerney
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Mica
     Michaud
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, Gary
     Miller, George
     Minnick
     Mitchell
     Moore (KS)
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy (CT)
     Murphy (NY)
     Murphy, Patrick
     Murphy, Tim
     Myrick
     Nadler (NY)
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Neugebauer
     Nunes
     Nye
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor (AZ)
     Paul
     Paulsen
     Payne
     Pence
     Perlmutter
     Perriello
     Peters
     Peterson
     Petri
     Pierluisi
     Pingree (ME)
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe (TX)
     Polis (CO)
     Pomeroy
     Posey
     Price (GA)
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Reyes
     Rodriguez
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rooney
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothman (NJ)
     Roybal-Allard
     Royce
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Ryan (WI)
     Sablan
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Scalise
     Schakowsky
     Schauer
     Schiff
     Schmidt
     Schock
     Schrader
     Schwartz
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Sessions
     Sestak
     Shadegg
     Sherman
     Shimkus
     Shuler
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Sires
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Space
     Speier
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stearns
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Sutton
     Taylor
     Teague
     Terry
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Titus
     Tonko
     Towns
     Tsongas
     Turner
     Upton
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walden
     Walz
     Wamp
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Welch
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wilson (OH)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Yarmuth
     Young (AK)

                             NOT VOTING--36

     Ackerman
     Bilbray
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Castor (FL)
     Christensen
     Delahunt
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Ellison
     Ellsworth
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Fallin
     Fleming
     Garrett (NJ)
     Harman
     Heller
     Hodes
     Johnson (GA)
     Kennedy
     Meek (FL)
     Mollohan
     Moore (WI)
     Norton
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olson
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Richardson
     Rogers (MI)
     Shea-Porter
     Tanner
     Tierney
     Young (FL)

                              {time}  1349

  Mr. SMITH of Texas changed his vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Stated for:
  Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Chair, today I was unavoidably delayed and unable 
to return to the floor in time for rollcall vote 529.
  Had I been present for rollcall No. 529, I would have voted ``aye'' 
(the Manager's Amendment to H.R. 4785).
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, as amended.
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The CHAIR. Under the rule, the Committee rises.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Serrano) having assumed the chair, Mr. Salazar, Chair of the Committee 
of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that 
Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 4785) to amend 
the miscellaneous rural development provisions of the Farm Security and 
Rural Investment Act of 2002 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture 
to make loans to certain entities that will use the funds to make loans 
to consumers to implement energy efficiency measures involving 
structural improvements and investments in cost-effective, commercial 
off-the-shelf technologies to reduce home energy use, and, pursuant to 
House Resolution 1620, reported the bill back to the House with an 
amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the previous question is 
ordered.
  The question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute, as 
amended.

[[Page H6789]]

  The amendment was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.


                           Motion to Recommit

  Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion to recommit at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman opposed to the bill?
  Mr. SHADEGG. I am, in its current form.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
recommit.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Mr. Shadegg moves to recommit the bill H.R. 4785 to the 
     Committee on Energy and Commerce with instructions to report 
     the same back to the House forthwith with the following 
     amendment:
       Page 1, line 5, insert ``with a gross annual household 
     income of less than $250,000'' after ``homeowner''.
       Page 1, line 9, insert ``A homeowner may not qualify as an 
     eligible participant if the homeowner has been more than 6 
     months delinquent in child support payments.'' after ``under 
     section 2.''.
       Page 1, lines 13 and 14, strike ``or community-based''.
       Page 3, line 10, insert ``primary'' after ``installed in 
     a''.
       Page 3, line 12, insert ``, but which shall not include the 
     installation or replacement of pool heaters or the 
     installation of Energy Star televisions'' after ``their 
     adoption''.
       Page 3, line 21, insert ``primary'' after ``installed in 
     a''.
       Page 5, line 16, insert ``, consistent with paragraph 
     (3),'' after ``particular efforts''.
       Page 8, line 22, through page 9, line 3, strike subsection 
     (h) (and redesignate the subsequent subsections accordingly).
       Page 9, line 14, insert ``The Secretary of Energy shall 
     also include a detailed accounting of any waste, fraud, or 
     abuse occurring in the administration of this Act in such 
     reports.'' after ``of this section.''.
       Page 10, line 11, strike ``and''.
       Page 10, line 15, strike the period and insert ``; and''.
       Page 10, after line 15, insert the following new paragraph:
       (7) the extent to which any waste, fraud, or abuse occurred 
     under this program.
       At the end of the bill, add the following new sections:

     SEC. 3. PROHIBITION.

       (a) Funds authorized by this Act shall only be made 
     available for the purpose of carrying out qualifying energy 
     savings measures on a primary residence.
       (b) Neither the Secretary of Energy nor the Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall provide any funds authorized by this Act to 
     any contractor that has been convicted of or pleaded guilty 
     to any fraudulent offense.

     SEC. 4. SUNSET.

       The provisions of this Act shall be suspended and shall not 
     apply if this Act will have a negative net effect on the 
     national budget deficit of the United States.

  Mr. SHADEGG (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous 
consent to dispense with the reading.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Arizona?
  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I object.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Objection is heard.
  The Clerk will continue to read.
  The Clerk continued to read.
  Mr. CLYBURN (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous 
consent to dispense with the reading.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from South Carolina?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Speaker, the underlying legislation creates a $5 
billion government loan program to assist people in purchasing energy 
efficiency devices. Anytime we spend that amount of money, we ought to 
be very careful about the spending of that money, especially since we 
face a $1.3 trillion deficit. Earlier this year, the GAO conducted an 
investigation which found rampant fraud and abuse in the highly touted 
Energy Star Program.
  Sadly, many companies have become very creative in ripping off the 
Department of Energy and the Energy Star Program. The motion to 
recommit makes a number of sensible changes and restrictions to protect 
the taxpayers in the implementation of this legislation.
  First, it urges that the GAO and the Secretary of Energy report any 
waste, fraud or abuse found in the program. This is simply good 
governance.
  Second, this program, which provides government subsidized loans, 
makes sure that these home improvement loans are eligible only to 
people who deserve the largesse, the assistance, of the government. 
First, it says, for example, loans can be only used for primary 
residences. Energy Star loans subsidized by the government under this 
legislation could not be used for vacation homes or beach houses. The 
taxpayer should not be providing energy-efficient appliances at luxury 
homes.
  Second, the motion to recommit strikes community-based organizations 
from potential lenders. This goes back to the problem of ACORN and the 
strong belief that they should not be in the position of using or 
having access to these funds.
  Third, the MTR ensures that these retrofit loans are only available 
to households where the gross income is less than $250,000. It should 
go without saying that if the other side is proposing to increase taxes 
on earners in this category, we should not be opening up subsidized 
government loans to people who make money at that level.
  Third, the motion to recommit provides that homeowners who are 
delinquent in their child support payments, so-called deadbeat dads, 
are not eligible for these subsidized loans. It's pretty simple and 
straightforward that when the government decides to help people in 
these circumstances purchase energy-efficient equipment that they can't 
otherwise afford, that we should not be doing that either for deadbeat 
dads or for the wealthiest of Americans.
  It also provides that loans and loan subsidies under this legislation 
cannot be used for such luxuries such as swimming pool heaters or to 
purchase LCD TVs or fancy TVs. While these technologies may save 
energy, the dollars in this loan program, $5 billion, which I would 
argue we don't have right now, should not be used to fund luxury items.
  People should not be using a subsidy from the government or a 
subsidized loan to buy a flat-screen TV or swimming pool heater.
  Last, the MTR provides to fill in the standards in the legislation, 
ensuring that sketchy contractors cannot implement this program. For 
example, the construction cannot be done by contractors convicted of 
fraud.
  Finally, and most importantly, the legislation provides that the 
programs must be deficit neutral. If either program, if either program 
is found to have a negative effect on the national debt, then that 
program is suspended.
  My colleagues on the other side will find this one of the things that 
they call a gutting amendment, but it really isn't. It is simply put in 
place to say that if you don't want to pay for the bill, which we would 
have argued for it and which we offered amendments in Rules for, then 
we should not allow it to increase the Nation's deficit.
  As I mentioned, we face a $1.3 trillion deficit. This simply says 
that before we provide subsidized government loans to people to buy 
energy-efficient equipment, that should not be done in a deficit 
situation where we are expanding the deficit and passing the cost of 
the program on to our children and our grandchildren.
  These are simple, straightforward, good-government provisions. They 
make the legislation better. They enable it to do what the authors of 
the legislation intended it to do without adding to the financial 
burden on the American taxpayer.
  I urge my colleagues to support the motion to recommit.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I claim the time in opposition but do not 
oppose the amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from South 
Carolina is recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  1400

  Mr. CLYBURN. I wish to thank my colleague and occasional sparring 
partner for making what I consider to be reasonable improvements to 
this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, in keeping with the bipartisan, in fact, unanimous vote 
in favor of this legislation, I will accept the gentleman's amendment.
  Mr. SHADEGG. I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered on the motion to recommit.

[[Page H6790]]

  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the instructions of the 
House in the motion to recommit, I report the bill, H.R. 4785, back to 
the House with an amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:
  Amendment offered by Mr. Butterfield:

       Page 1, line 5, insert ``with a gross annual household 
     income of less than $250,000'' after ``homeowner''.
       Page 1, line 9, insert ``A homeowner may not qualify as an 
     eligible participant if the homeowner has been more than 6 
     months delinquent in child support payments.'' after ``under 
     section 2.''.
       Page 1, lines 13 and 14, strike ``or community-based''.
       Page 3, line 10, insert ``primary'' after ``installed in 
     a''.
       Page 3, line 12, insert ``, but which shall not include the 
     installation or replacement of pool heaters or the 
     installation of Energy Star televisions'' after ``their 
     adoption''.
       Page 3, line 21, insert ``primary'' after ``installed in 
     a''.
       Page 5, line 16, insert ``, consistent with paragraph 
     (3),'' after ``particular efforts''.
       Page 8, line 22, through page 9, line 3, strike subsection 
     (h) (and redesignate the subsequent subsections accordingly).
       Page 9, line 14, insert ``The Secretary of Energy shall 
     also include a detailed accounting of any waste, fraud, or 
     abuse occurring in the administration of this Act in such 
     reports.'' after ``of this section.''.
       Page 10, line 11, strike ``and''.
       Page 10, line 15, strike the period and insert ``; and''.
       Page 10, after line 15, insert the following new paragraph:
       (7) the extent to which any waste, fraud, or abuse occurred 
     under this program.
       At the end of the bill, add the following new sections:

     SEC. 3. PROHIBITION.

       (a) Funds authorized by this Act shall only be made 
     available for the purpose of carrying out qualifying energy 
     savings measures on a primary residence.
       (b) Neither the Secretary of Energy nor the Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall provide any funds authorized by this Act to 
     any contractor that has been convicted of or pleaded guilty 
     to any fraudulent offense.

     SEC. 4. SUNSET.

       The provisions of this Act shall be suspended and shall not 
     apply if this Act will have a negative net effect on the 
     national budget deficit of the United States.

  Mr. CLYBURN (during the reading). I ask unanimous consent to dispense 
with the reading.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from South Carolina?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the amendment.
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, this 15-
minute vote on passage of the bill will be followed by 5-minute votes 
on the motion to suspend on House Resolution 1613.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 240, 
noes 172, not voting 20, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 530]

                               AYES--240

     Altmire
     Andrews
     Arcuri
     Baca
     Baird
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boccieri
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Braley (IA)
     Bright
     Brown, Corrine
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carney
     Carson (IN)
     Castle
     Castor (FL)
     Chandler
     Childers
     Chu
     Clarke
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Connolly (VA)
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello
     Courtney
     Critz
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Dahlkemper
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (TN)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     Deutch
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Djou
     Doggett
     Donnelly (IN)
     Doyle
     Driehaus
     Edwards (MD)
     Edwards (TX)
     Ehlers
     Engel
     Etheridge
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Foster
     Frank (MA)
     Fudge
     Garamendi
     Giffords
     Gonzalez
     Gordon (TN)
     Grayson
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hall (NY)
     Halvorson
     Hare
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Heinrich
     Herseth Sandlin
     Higgins
     Hill
     Himes
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hirono
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hoyer
     Inglis
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson Lee (TX)
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kagen
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kilroy
     Kind
     Kissell
     Klein (FL)
     Kosmas
     Kratovil
     Kucinich
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee (CA)
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lujan
     Lynch
     Maffei
     Maloney
     Markey (CO)
     Markey (MA)
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McMahon
     McNerney
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Michaud
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Minnick
     Mitchell
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy (CT)
     Murphy (NY)
     Murphy, Patrick
     Nadler (NY)
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Nye
     Oberstar
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor (AZ)
     Payne
     Perlmutter
     Perriello
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree (ME)
     Polis (CO)
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Richardson
     Rodriguez
     Ross
     Rothman (NJ)
     Roybal-Allard
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schrader
     Schwartz
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Sestak
     Sherman
     Shuler
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Space
     Speier
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stupak
     Sutton
     Taylor
     Teague
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Towns
     Tsongas
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Welch
     Whitfield
     Wilson (OH)
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Yarmuth

                               NOES--172

     Aderholt
     Adler (NJ)
     Akin
     Alexander
     Austria
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Bartlett
     Barton (TX)
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Boehner
     Bonner
     Bono Mack
     Boozman
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Broun (GA)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Buchanan
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp
     Campbell
     Cantor
     Cao
     Capito
     Carter
     Cassidy
     Chaffetz
     Coble
     Coffman (CO)
     Cole
     Conaway
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Davis (KY)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Emerson
     Flake
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gingrey (GA)
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Guthrie
     Hall (TX)
     Harper
     Hastings (WA)
     Heller
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hoekstra
     Hunter
     Issa
     Jenkins
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan (OH)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kirkpatrick (AZ)
     Kline (MN)
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Latta
     Lee (NY)
     Lewis (CA)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     Lummis
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     Marshall
     McCarthy (CA)
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McCotter
     McHenry
     McKeon
     McMorris Rodgers
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy, Tim
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Nunes
     Olson
     Paul
     Paulsen
     Pence
     Petri
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe (TX)
     Posey
     Price (GA)
     Radanovich
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Rooney
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Scalise
     Schauer
     Schmidt
     Schock
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Skelton
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Terry
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Turner
     Upton
     Walden
     Wamp
     Westmoreland
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Wolf
     Young (AK)

                             NOT VOTING--20

     Ackerman
     Baldwin
     Blunt
     Delahunt
     Ellison
     Ellsworth
     Eshoo
     Fallin
     Fleming
     Hodes
     Kennedy
     Meek (FL)
     Mollohan
     Obey
     Putnam
     Ruppersberger
     Shea-Porter
     Tanner
     Tierney
     Young (FL)


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (during the vote). There is 1 minute 
remaining in this vote.

                              {time}  1420

  Messrs. PAUL and McCAUL changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Messrs. ANDREWS, JOHNSON of Georgia, and LANGEVIN changed their vote 
from ``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The title was amended so as to read: ``A bill to authorize the 
Secretary of Agriculture to make loans to certain entities that agree 
that the funds will

[[Page H6791]]

be used to make loans to consumers to implement energy efficiency 
measures involving structural improvements and investments in cost-
effective, commercial off-the-shelf technologies to reduce energy use, 
and for other purposes.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Ms. BALDWIN. Madam Speaker, I regret that I missed a vote on final 
passage of H.R. 4785, the Rural Energy Savings Program Act.
  Had I been present, I would have voted ``aye'' in support of the 
bill.
  Stated against:
  Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina. Madam Speaker, on rollcall No. 30, I 
inadvertently voted ``aye'' but I meant to vote ``no.''

                          ____________________