The Senate Appropriations Energy & Water (E&W) Subcommittee marked up the FY 2013 bill today to determine funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). While we are expecting an improvement over the House number released today of $54.5 million, the final Senate number will fall far short of our requested “ask” to the Committee of $210 million for FY 2013.
This is indeed a busy week for E&W appropriations. The Senate Subcommittee marked up today, the full House Appropriations Committees takes up the E&W bill tomorrow, followed by the full Senate Appropriations’ Committee consideration of the E&W bill on Thursday. By week’s end we will know the alignment for the House/Senate Conference, which will be crucial for the future of the WAP.
We will continue to keep up the pressure on House and Senate appropriators to approve a number that will enable WAP to remain viable as a national program in FY 2013. Just today, we sent both House and Senate Appropriations committees copies of our letter from more than sixty-five companies in the weatherization supply chain, supporting our “ask” for $210 million in FY 2013 for WAP. A separate letter of support from the faith based organizations supporting WAP is forthcoming. And, we have just completed a round of 13 meeting with Members of the Senate E&W Appropriations subcommittee, explaining in these one-on-one meetings the value of the WAP program in energy savings and job creation.
At the end of this week, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will be doing a briefing on weatherization at our request. Additionally, we have just released, together with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, a briefing paper for all Congressional staff on the technology deployed in WAP.
We will continue to work with our champions in the Senate to get the best possible number to take to the House/Senate conference, which needs to be well above the Administration requested level of $139 million. We will advise you as soon as we know the Senate number and any possibility of amendments in full Committee later this week.