Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Pressure Pays Off, Helps Secure $5.1 Billion in Critical Heating Assistance

Washington, DC— After months of urging both House leadership and the President to take action, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today helped secure $5.1 billion in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The funding, which includes at least $34 million for New Hampshire, was approved by the House as part of a Continuing Resolution (CR).

Thousands of New Hampshire families will now be able to heat their homes this winter,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I am relieved this critical funding has been approved and I will continue to press for more LIHEAP funding.”

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 vendors. Without assistance from LIHEAP, many families would be unable to receive enough oil during the winter months to keep their homes properly heated. With current forecasts for home heating fuel averaging over $4.00 per gallon, it is estimated that the average New Hampshire family may have to pay more than $3,000 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 frequent letters to President Bush, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Hoyer urging that LIHEAP funding be included in an appropriate legislative vehicle.

In his FY09 budget, the President recommended a $500 million cut for LIHEAP. The amount approved by the House today not only rejects the President’s cuts, but doubles funding for the program.