Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Peter Welch (D-VT)
December 28, 2020
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed into law on Sunday night a government funding bill that included energy efficiency provisions championed by Representative Peter Welch, and an important Medicaid fraud bill that he introduced this Congress. The bill also funds the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2021.
The legislation includes several provisions Welch led during the 116th Congress that are now law. Specifically, it includes the following Welch-led energy efficiency initiatives:
- Provisions from the Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Act (H.R. 1479) to incentivize the use of energy efficient wood boilers, stoves and heaters through tax credits for capital costs incurred in residential installations.
- Provisions to provide rebates for energy efficient motors and transformers, streamline energy efficiency programs and financing for schools, and reduce energy usage at data centers. These provisions come from the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (H.R. 3962) introduced by Welch this Congress.
- The Energy Savings Through Public Private Partnership Act (H.R. 3079) to require federal agencies to implement previously identified energy efficiency upgrades and to use performance contracting to ensure energy savings and save taxpayer dollars.
- Core parts of the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act (H.R. 5650), which authorizes, for the first time, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) at $36 million through fiscal year 2025.
- The Small Building Acceleration Act (H.R. 2044) to facilitate the transition to energy-saving smart buildings by supporting research and documenting the costs and benefits of emerging technologies in private and federal government buildings.
- Provisions to develop a national plan for smart manufacturing technology development and deployment to improve domestic manufacturing sector productivity and efficiency. This is similar to parts of The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act (H.R. 1633), introduced by Welch this Congress.
- The Combined Heat and Power Support Act (H.R. 1480), which creates a Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership Program and encourages the deployment of CHP, waste heat to power, and efficient district energy.
In addition, the spending legislation included a Welch bill to combat Medicaid fraud and abuse and protect those served by the program from being exploited. The legislation, H.R. 3891, would fix a loophole that prohibited state Medicaid Fraud Control Units to pursue waste and abuse in non-institutional settings, like home health care. The bill is strongly supported by Vermont State Attorney General T.J. Donovan.