Washington, DC—Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter responded to President Bush’s release of the remaining contingency funds within the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). More than $120 million will be distributed across the country for LIHEAP; however, only $3 million will be available to New Hampshire residents.
“While I welcome the President’s release of this critical funding, it is certainly not enough money, said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “At a time when the Administration is busy bailing out Wall Street, I ask once again that they recognize the suffering on Main Street. People will need financial help to heat their homes this winter. I have introduced a bill, and I have pressed Leadership to put money in either a second stimulus package or the continuing resolution. New Hampshire people are waiting, but winter won’t. We need more funding now.”
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 $4.00 per gallon, it is estimated that the average New Hampshire family may have to pay $3000 this winter in heating bills.
Congresswoman Shea-Porter has been a strong advocate for LIHEAP funding. Earlier this year, Shea-Porter introduced the Home Energy Assistance through Emergency Relief Act, legislation which would increase funding for LIHEAP by $9 billion. Shea-Porter also sent letters to President Bush, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Hoyer urging that LIHEAP funding be included in any future economic stimulus package, or appropriate legislative vehicle.