From The Office of Congressman Charlie BassWashington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Charles Bass (R-NH02) met with Speaker Dennis Hastert and the full majority leadership of the House to discuss the upcoming Congressional agenda. During the discussion, Bass again advocated for additional federal support for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
"The urgency of this situation cannot be overstated," said Bass. "I have once again implored leadership to remedy LIHEAP shortfalls as quickly as possible."
The leadership meeting occurred just one day before the House is scheduled to consider the Conference Report for the Deficit Reduction Act, which fails to incorporate the additional $1 billion in LIHEAP resources that the Second District Congressman had included during House Energy and Commerce Committee work on the bill.
"Our citizens should not be punished because some in Congress miscalculated program needs for this year," stated Bass. " The fuel service and supply interruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina necessitate emergency action, and this legitimate request to compensate state programs for their increased fuel costs deserves expedited reconsideration."
Bass, a consistent proponent of ensuring that adequate LIHEAP funds are available for New Hampshire and other cold weather states, drafted a letter last week detailing the urgent need to address this problem. In the letter, Congressman Bass and 14 other Republicans urged Speaker Hastert to give our nation's neediest families financial relief from skyrocketing energy costs.
They also urged the House to return to session early to address this problem, writing, "Many of the cold-weather states will exhaust their LIHEAP allocations in the next few weeks, which would leave these vulnerable populations at risk for another several months."