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Cash for Caulkers: What's Next?

(Cash for Caulkers story updated with stock price movements of companies that could benefit from the program and U.S. Senate plans for the bill.)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The House has approved "Cash for Caulkers," or the "Home Star" bill, which would reward rebates worth thousands of dollars over two years to those who weatherize their homes.

President Obama has been a supporter of the $6 billion bill. Those who install energy-preserving insulation, doors and windows could be rewarded with as much as $3,000.

The bill, according to Democrats, will not only be good for the environment and help Americans save billions of dollars in energy bills, but also breathe life into the construction industry and promote job growth.

Household products companies like glass-fiber reinforcements producer Owens Corning (OC), home-improvement retailer Home Depot (HD) and home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) could also become beneficiaries of the program if fully-approved.

These stocks are trading at $33.33, down 1.7%; $34.20, up 0.7%; $25.82, up 1.2%, respectively, midday Friday.

Republicans weren't as keen about the program, airing concerns about the ability of the government to manage it with fairness and effectiveness, and wondering whether the nation could afford such an initiative amid deepening federal debt.

The bill now goes to Senate for approval, where discussions are likely to begin this summer. Included in the discussions would be how to fund the program; which could turn into heated debate.

The Cash for Caulkers initiative was taken from the highly successful 2009 Cash for Clunkers program that rewarded those who exchanged their existing vehicles for most fuel-efficient ones.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

Follow Andrea Tse on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Copyright 2010 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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