On February 11, after weeks of negotiations between Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the White House welcomed a bipartisan deal on an $85 billion jobs bill . Only hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the deal would be replaced with a stripped down $15 billion bill that would provide payroll tax exemptions and financial incentives for small businesses, highway construction and state and local infrastructure projects.
The $15 billion bill is set to be the first in a series of smaller measures that Majority Leader Reid plans to roll out in lieu of a single, overarching bill.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), along with 14 other organizations, sent a letter urging Senate leadership to “make clean energy, green infrastructure and environmental protection a cornerstone of any job creation legislation,” putting the American economy on a “stable, long-term path to sustainable growth.” Among the letter’s recommendations are: fund the proposed Home Star program, which would provide rebates to homeowners for qualifying energy efficiency retrofits (thereby putting thousands of Americans to work); include commercial and industrial energy efficiency programs that will reduce costs for businesses; remove the cap on the advanced energy manufacturing tax credit; and direct as much investment to transit and rail as is directed to highways. Senator Reid has stated that the Democrats’ jobs agenda includes energy efficiency.
Click here to read the full letter.