Shea-Porter Urges Congressional Leaders to Provide Additional LIHEAP Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today urged Congressional Leaders to increase LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) funding by $1 billion this year and to also fully fund LIHEAP to its authorized level of $5.1 billion next year. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Appropriations Chairman David Obey, Shea-Porter wrote that Congress must provide a meaningful level of assistance in order to ensure the safety of New Hampshire’s seniors and families.

“New England winters are famously cold and access to heating assistance is a public safety issue,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “No one should ever be forced to choose between heating their home and putting food on the table. Congress must properly fund LIHEAP so we can ensure our nation’s most vulnerable citizens do not suffer.”

A full copy of the letter is below:

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

The Honorable David Obey


Committee on Appropriations

United States House of Representatives

Room H218, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515


Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Chairman Obey:

I respectfully request that an additional $1 billion be provided for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in any Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2009 that Congress may consider. I also request that the program be fully funded for Fiscal Year 2010 at the authorized level of $5.1 billion.

Last year, with oil prices at record levels and families wondering how they would make it through the winter, Congress responded and fully funded LIHEAP. Thanks to your leadership on this issue, New Hampshire families are receiving a meaningful benefit this year of almost $1,000 to help with their heating bills. Even though oil prices have dropped, many families are still struggling with the cost of heating their homes. Family budgets are as tight as ever and many parents and seniors are facing increasingly difficult choices.

The House of Representatives included an additional $1 billion in LIHEAP funding in the economic recovery package. Unfortunately, the final bill did not include this funding. Without additional assistance and full funding next year, we will not be able to provide the assistance New Hampshire families need. Without it, seniors may keep their homes dangerously cold, families will struggle to make ends meet, and many families may resort to unsafe methods to heat their homes. We cannot let that happen.

Again, I request that you include an additional $1 billion for LIHEAP in any Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2009 and that you fully fund LIHEAP at $5.1 billion next year. Such a funding level will ensure that states can continue to provide a meaningful level of assistance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.