House Passes $6.6 Billion 'Cash for Caulkers' Bill

The House passed another in its long series of runaway spending bills, this time it’s the $6.6 billion “cash for caulkers” weatherization bill.

In a vote of 246-161 the House voted to spend more of the American taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on gimmicky, big government “stimulus” spending. The bill would pay homeowners thousands of dollars in rebates to remodel their homes with new windows, doors and insulation. 

The House first passed a Republican “motion to recommit” by a vote of 346 to 68  making Democrats pay for the bill with an offset if the resulting new government programs are found to add to the deficit. 

“On the House floor today, we saw a rare, small victory for common sense,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner. “Even though the ‘stimulus’ last year included $15 billion for weatherization — which is largely unspent — they decided to add another $6.6 billion for caulk to our deficit, at time when the American people are already scared to death by Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree.”

“The Republican motion to recommit ensures that ‘cash for caulkers’ spending cannot add to our federal deficit,” Boehner said.  “It further requires that this money not be used to pay for swimming pool heaters, or go to wealthy families or for bureaucrats’ junkets to casinos, or to pay for advertisements touting the ‘cash for caulkers’ program.”

“What’s remarkable isn’t that the Republican motion passed, but that it was necessary in the first place,” Boehner said. 

“The Obama administration already spent $3.7 million to ‘weatherize’ just 47 homes in Texas,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.  “That track record would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.  There is no reason to believe they’ll do better handing out another $6.6 billion in taxpayer money this time around.  Moreover, with bureaucrats trying to rush this money out the door, the opportunity will be ripe for fraud and abuse.”

Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) accountability amendment also passed on voice vote that would require the Inspector General of the Department of Energy to submit a report to Congress measuring the amount of waste, fraud, and abuse occurring in programs created by the bill.

Republicans also were able to make changes in the bill that directs payments directly to a homeowner instead of as a discount or rebate at the retailer.

The bill now moves to the Senate and will likely await a “jobs” bill vehicle for passage.