Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Shea-Porter Calls for Heating Assistance for Struggling NH Families

Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today requested $3 billion in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  In a letter sent to House Leaders Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer, Shea-Porter urged LIHEAP funding be included in any future economic stimulus package.

More than 30,000 New Hampshire families rely on LIHEAP each winter to keep the heat on,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “It is critical that LIHEAP receive proper funding so our state’s most vulnerable citizens do not have to suffer from the cold.   Hard-working Americans should not have to choose between putting food on the table and heating their homes.”

Properly funding LIHEAP is critical to protecting New Hampshire seniors and children.  Last year’s record high energy costs resulted in many New Hampshire families carrying larger balances with their home heating venders.  Without assistance from LIHEAP, many families may not be able to pay off their balances in time, and will be unable to receive their first delivery of oil when the winter months draw near.  Additionally, heating oil prices are expected to rise by almost 50% this year.   

Congresswoman Shea-Porter has been a strong advocate for LIHEAP funding.   Earlier this year, she testified before the House Budget Committee and called for a “robust funding level.”   Last year, Congresswoman Shea-Porter urged President Bush to properly fund the program by releasing the remaining contingency funds and helped pass an omnibus bill that included $2.6 billion in funding.

The complete text of the letter is attached.

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
Room H232, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20515 

The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
Majority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Room H107, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
 
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:

I am writing to request that any future economic stimulus package, or other appropriate legislative vehicle, provide robust funding of at least $3 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  In New Hampshire, over 30,000 families rely on this program every winter to keep the heat on.  Without adequate funding this year, some people will resort to dangerous methods for heating their homes and others will suffer in freezing temperatures.

Families in New Hampshire are struggling already this summer, planning out their budgets, looking at the numbers and wondering how they are going to make ends meet.  Hard-working Americans should not have to make the choice between putting food on the table and heating their homes.

Last winter’s record high energy costs have resulted in New Hampshire families carrying larger than usual balances with their home heating oil vendors.  Without some additional assistance, they may not be able to pay balances off in time, and they will not get their first delivery of oil when the winter months draw near.  To make matters worse, heating oil prices are expected to rise by almost 50% this year again.  It is likely that those who can afford to buy some heating oil this year will not be able to afford enough to last through the many months of a New Hampshire winter.  Without help from Congress, our most vulnerable citizens face a real and terrible threat.  

Again, I urge you to include emergency funding of at least $3 billion for the LIHEAP program in any economic stimulus package or appropriate vehicle that this body may consider.

Thank you for your kind consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Carol Shea-Porter
Member of Congress