House clears energy efficiency bill

The House sent long-stalled legislation to the president's desk on Tuesday to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Passed by voice vote, the bill would require the General Services Administration and Department of Energy (DOE) to create a voluntary energy efficiency standard for commercial buildings. 

Additionally, it would exempt certain water heaters from new DOE energy efficiency requirements.

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Lawmakers said the measure would help conserve energy and consumers' money.

"This legislation finds that spot - energy efficiency - where we can join in embracing the enormous benefit of creating ways where homeowners and business  owners of commercial buildings can figure out how to cut down on their bills," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). 

The measure, authored by Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanThe Trail 2016: Biting the hand that feeds him Portman focuses on heroin fight in new ads Juan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump MORE (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenSenate fight brews over Afghan visas Senators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Overnight Defense: Pentagon denies troops on Syrian front lines | Senators push for more Afghan visas MORE (D-N.H.), was bogged down in the Senate for more than a year by tensions over unrelated issues. It almost made it to the Senate floor last year for a vote, but Republicans filibustered the bill after then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow votes on amendments that would, among other things, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and eliminate the health care employer contributions received by lawmakers and their staff under ObamaCare.

Senators finally approved the legislation by voice vote last month after a marathon vote-a-rama on the GOP budget resolution that concluded in the early morning hours. 

 

 

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