Shaheen, Hassan Join Bipartisan Call for HHS to Release Remaining $1.5 Billion in LIHEAP Funding to StatesFebruary 17, 2023
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined a bipartisan group of Senators to call on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to swiftly release the remaining $1.5 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding that Congress delivered in fiscal year (FY) 2023.
In the letter led by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Senators urged HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to immediately distribute the remaining emergency funds to states so they can be disbursed by authorized, local non-profit organizations that deliver social services, community health and housing assistance to low-income, elderly and those with disabilities across the country.
“We write to urge the Department of Health and Human Services to release the remaining Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds as quickly as possible. This will ensure state LIHEAP offices can continue to help vulnerable households keep the heat on this winter and plan for the rest of the program year,” the Senators wrote.
Last November, the Biden administration distributed over $4.5 billion of federal LIHEAP aid to states under the short-term government funding legislation, including $1 billion in emergency funding that Shaheen and Hassan worked to secure. The final Omnibus appropriations law provided additional funds, bringing total funding for LIHEAP to $6.1 billion in FY 2023. LIHEAP is administered by states and in New Hampshire, accessed through local Community Action Agencies. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size and the availability of resources.
The letter was also signed by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Edward Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Angus King (I-ME), Krysten Sinema (I-AZ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Fetterman (D-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Peter Welch (D-VT), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Full text of the letter is available here.
Senator Shaheen has consistently fought in the Senate to bolster funding for LIHEAP. On top of the $900 million in LIHEAP funds allocated through the CARES Act in 2020, Shaheen worked to secure $4.5 billion for LIHEAP in the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law in March 2021 and provided more than $35 million to New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen also used her role on Appropriations and as a lead negotiator for the bipartisan infrastructure bill to push to increase LIHEAP funding for Granite State families, leading to the highest total of LIHEAP funding ever received in a 12-month period in New Hampshire history. Following the June announcement of electric rate increases approved by New Hampshire’s Public Utilities Commission, the New Hampshire Delegation urged the state to use the remaining funding secured in the American Rescue Plan to provide financial assistance to help Granite Staters afford their home energy bills.
Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to bring down energy costs for Granite Staters. During negotiations on the government funding legislation from September, Senator Hassan worked closely with her Democratic and Republican colleagues to successfully secure additional direct heating assistance for New Hampshire families. Senator Hassan also led the New England delegation in calling on President Biden to lower energy costs by releasing oil from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. Senator Hassan successfully included in the Inflation Reduction Act her measure with Susan Collins (R-ME) to help lower energy costs for families and reduce carbon emissions by expanding and extending a tax credit for energy efficient home upgrades.
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