Biden on the Record: Recovery and Reinvestment Act Implementation Conference

for the America people.

Further, there should be no confusion about how this money should be spent. These funds are designed for one of three purposes. First, to — money to put in people’s pockets. That’s why we extended unemployment compensation, and 95 percent of the America people are going to see their paychecks fatter, because their payroll taxes will be cut beginning April 1st. They’ll have more money in their pocket to spend.

Second, the purpose is to create jobs in the near term, and that’s why we — not just now, but in the near term, over the next 18 months. That’s why we’ve dedicated so much money to rebuilding America’s schools, roads, highways, and bridges.

And third, to make investments in those areas that would create the jobs of the future. That’s why we’ve invested in new technologies like wind and solar, a new smart grid for America’s electricity, a new superhighway of electricity transmission in the United States of America, and health care technology, to lay the groundwork for saving billions of dollars — it’s the one thing that will get us out of this long-term trajectory of nothing but rising deficits.

And today I’m proud to be announcing two allocations of resources that are a good example of how this money should be spent. First, through the Department of Energy, $8 billion in weatherization funding and energy efficiency grants are going to go out to the states. This is funding that will both create jobs now, and make critical investments in making America more energy efficient in the future.

As the Secretary said, the ultimate answer of our success will be in the black and white of the bill that our constituents receive in terms of their energy costs at the end of the day. Five billion [dollars] of this funding will go to weatherizations of homes for insulation, ceiling leaks, and modernizing heating and air-conditioning equipment. It’s an investment that will pay for itself many times over. It’s also an investment that will create tens of thousands of jobs right now — jobs right now.

And additional $3 billion of this money is for state energy programs. That’s money that can be used by you for rebates to consumers who are doing energy audits for developing renewable energy projects, and for making state and local government buildings more energy efficient.

You know how to do this well. You are, as they say, the laboratories. You know how to do well — we’re looking to you. We’re looking to you not only to receive this money and spend it accountably and transparently, but innovatively. And we hope that some of you, your success will be shared with other states. So there’s an opportunity here — there’s an opportunity for real innovation.

Of this $8 billion investment, we’ll start with an $800 million allocation right now, with the rest being made available once we get the detailed plans from states and local governments on how you will allocate the money, and give you time to — you’ll hear today how

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