Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the following remarks on the House floor today in support of the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act (H.R. 6049). The legislation passed the House this afternoon by a vote of 263 to 160. Below are her remarks:
“Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise in strong support of the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act. I am enthusiastic about it because it will cut taxes for millions of middle-income families and grow the U.S. economy. It will invest in renewable energy technologies to create high-paying green jobs. It will make us more energy independent. And it will remove incentives in the tax code that encourage shipping jobs and investment overseas.
“I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary leadership of the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Charlie Rangel. He has brought a bill to the floor that makes key investments in our families and our future. And I thank the gentleman from Washington state, Mr. McDermott, for his leadership and for yielding me time.
“This is how the bill will cut taxes. Here are seven reasons why everybody in this Congress should vote for this bill. Any one of them should be enough.
“First, it provides 30 million homeowners with property tax relief.
“Secondly, it helps 13 million children by expanding the child tax credit.
“Third, it benefits 11 million families through the state and local sales tax deduction.
“It helps 4.5 million families better afford college with tuition deductions.
“Next it saves 3.4 million teachers money with a deduction for classroom expenses. Imagine now when our teachers go into a classroom that is not fully equipped, they had to pay for that equipment themselves. This at least says, if you do that, you will get a tax deduction.
“It provides more than 22,000 military families with tax relief under the Earned Income Tax Credit, and it ensures U.S. competitiveness by expanding the R&D, research and development tax credit.
“That is how it cuts taxes. That is seven reasons right there, any one of which I think is sufficient to vote for this bill.
“When it comes to taxing gas prices, Mr. Speaker, as we debate this legislation, American families are paying record prices at the pump - yesterday the cost of a barrel of oil passed $129 for the first time in history. Today, I believe it went past $130.
“This legislation invests in the future and the ingenuity of the American people to create and deploy cutting-edge renewable technologies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And this is how it does that.
“It strengthens and extends the production tax credit, which will spur the deployment of wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, tidal and landfill gas.
“Next, it transitions biofuel beyond corn by creating a new tax credit to promote the production of cellulosic biofuels.
“Next it expands and extends the solar and fuel cell investment tax credit and offers tax incentives for residential solar, wind, and geothermal technologies.
“And it provides tax incentives for coal electricity plants that capture and sequester carbon dioxide.
“It includes incentives to encourage energy efficient products, such as plug-in hybrids cars, and incentives for energy conservation in both commercial buildings and residential structures; and it creates a new category of tax credit bonds to fund local initiatives to promote the deployment of green technologies.
“This is a comprehensive approach, the missing part of the energy bill that we passed last year because it did not have the tax credits. Now we do. This industry can take off. We can have private sector initiatives to grow our economy, create good paying jobs, here at home, green jobs, and the green revolutions that is so important to our future. And this is all being done in a fiscally sound way. No new deficit spending. It is paid for.
“This forward-looking legislation invests in renewable energy, creates hundreds of thousands of good-paying green jobs, spurs American innovation, and cuts taxes for millions of Americans - and it does so, as I mentioned, in a fiscally responsible way.
“To invest in our future, this bill closes loopholes allowing corporations and executives to avoid paying certain taxes by shipping jobs and investments overseas. The New Direction Congress thinks we should focus tax benefits on creating jobs and encouraging investment here at home.
“Despite the strong case for rescinding taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil companies making record profits, opposition by the Senate Republicans to these offsets make their inclusion untenable for the bill being debated today, but we will come back to that. Today's bill represents a concerted effort to enact a bill into law promptly, and thus relies on revenue offsets that enjoy strong bipartisan support.
“I urge my colleagues to join Mr. Rangel, the members of the Ways and Means Committee, many members of our House on both sides of the aisle who care about an energy future for America that reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It is a national security issue. It is an economic issue. It is an environmental and health issue. It is an energy issue. It is a moral issue for us to preserve God's beautiful creation, this planet, and to pass it on to the next generation in a responsible way. I urge my colleges to support the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act and yield back the balance of my time.”