Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter introduced legislation with 11 of her New England colleagues to provide emergency funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The legislation, the Home Energy Assistance through Emergency Relief Act, would increase funding for LIHEAP by $9 billion. This comes one week after the Congresswoman sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer urging that LIHEAP funding be included in any future economic stimulus package.
“With energy prices skyrocketing, low and moderate income families will be unable to heat their homes this winter,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “Hardworking Americans should not have to choose between putting food on the table and staying warm.”
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 will be unable to receive enough oil during the winter months to keep their homes properly heated. With current forecasts for home heating fuel averaging $5.00 per gallon, it is estimated that the average New Hampshire family could have to pay $4000 this winter in heating bills.
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 she helped pass an omnibus bill that included $2.6 billion in funding.