As Congress Begins Writing Government Funding Legislation, Shaheen Calls for Increase in Funds for Heating Assistance

Calls bipartisan budget an opportunity to roll back cuts that have left New Hampshire families in the cold

November 12, 2015

Washington, DC-- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is calling on the Senate to provide additional funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Senator Shaheen is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and last week joined a bipartisan group of Senators requesting that the Chairman and leading Democratic member of the Committee increase funding for both LIHEAP and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Earlier this month, the President signed a bipartisan budget agreement into law which allows for additional investments in domestic federal programs. This budget agreement now provides an opportunity for the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to begin working on legislation to fund the federal government in Fiscal Year 2016.

“Heating assistance is an absolute necessity for many New Hampshire families during the winter months,” said Shaheen. “Unfortunately, the amount of LIHEAP funding that New Hampshire receives does not provide for all those who are eligible. Now that Congress has passed a bipartisan budget agreement and begins writing government funding legislation, we have an opportunity to roll back the cuts that have been made to LIHEAP in recent years that have literally left Granite State families and seniors in the cold.”

Funding for LIHEAP in Fiscal Year 2015 was $3.39 billion, 33 percent lower than what the program was funded at in Fiscal Year 2010.

The Senators’ letter reads, in part:

“No family in our nation should be forced to choose between paying an energy bill and putting food on the table. No senior citizen should have to decide between buying life-saving prescriptions and paying utility bills. For individuals and households that may have to face these difficult choices, LIHEAP makes a real difference in their ability to cope with adverse circumstances. Similarly, WAP is helping to reduce energy consumption and permanently reduce the burden of home energy prices on low-income families.”