SHAHEEN, AYOTTE URGE SWIFT RELEASE OF LIHEAP FUNDS

Join 44 Senators in calling on HHS Secretary to release home heating aid in preparation for winter season

October 03, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to help New Hampshire low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes afford their home heating bills this coming winter, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to quickly release as much federal heating aid as possible.

In a bipartisan letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the Senators urged the department to release Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds without delay and at as high a level as possible.  Earlier this year, Shaheen and Ayotte urged Senate appropriators to fund LIHEAP at a level no less than $4.7 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 to provide sufficient program funding to help low-income families and seniors. 

“As the relevant state agencies begin to provide assistance for this winter, it is critical that they have the resources to assist low-income households and seniors as soon as possible,” the Senators wrote.  “Therefore, we request that you quickly release LIHEAP funds and at as high of a level as possible in order to allow states and low-income households to prepare for the upcoming season.”

BIPARTISAN LETTER TO HHS SECRETARY:

October 2, 2014

Dear Secretary Burwell:

As state agencies prepare their Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) programs for the winter, we respectfully request that the Department of Health and Human Services release LIHEAP funds as quickly and at as high of a level as possible under the current continuing resolution.

LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing critical assistance during the cold winter and hot summer months. This funding has been an indispensable lifeline during challenging economic times, helping to ensure that recipients do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for other necessities like food or medicine. On average, low-income families and seniors spend a higher proportion of their income on energy, and for many states, October marks the start of the heating season, creating an additional constraint on these household budgets.

As the relevant state agencies begin to provide assistance for this winter, it is critical that they have the resources to assist low-income households and seniors as soon as possible. Therefore, we request that you quickly release LIHEAP funds and at as high of a level as possible in order to allow states and low-income households to prepare for the upcoming season.   

We look forward to continuing to work with you on this critical program, and thank you for your attention to our concerns and those of our constituents.

Sincerely,

Reed (D-RI)

Collins (R-ME)

Ayotte (R-NH)

Baldwin (D-WI)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Booker (D-NJ)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Begich (D-AK)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Casey (D-PA)

Coons (D-DE)

Durbin (D-IL)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Harkin (D-IA)

Heitkamp (D-ND)

Hirono (D-HI)

Johnson, Tim (D-SD)

Kaine (D-VA)

King (I-ME)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Landrieu (D-LA)

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

Manchin (D-WV)

Markey (D-MA)

Merkley (D-OR)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Murphy (D-CT)

Murray (D-WA)

Pryor (D-AR)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schatz (D-HI)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Walsh (D-MT)

Warren (D-MA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Wyden (D-OR)