WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) is helping to form a bipartisan coalition of House members to urge the House Appropriations Committee to fund the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at its authorized level of $5.1 billion in the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations process. Bass and a dozen Republican and Democratic members are leading a letter to the Committee that has already garnered nearly 50 signatures.
The President included only $3 billion in his budget proposal that was released last month that, while greater than his request of $2.57 billion in 2011, is still short of the $3.5 billion Congress appropriated last year.
“Thousands of New Hampshire families rely on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help pay for high heating bills, and although winter is coming to a close this year, we are beginning the process now to ensure there is sufficient funding to help struggling families next winter. Sadly, the President has once again gutted this important program in his budget proposal, putting New Hampshire families at risk.
“There are many priorities that the federal government must fund, but I believe we can meet our needs in a fiscally-responsible manner. As the budget process begins in the House, I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure we adequately fund LIHEAP to help those who need assistance so no one is forced to choose between paying their food bills or heating bills.”
Bass has long been a supporter of this vital program. He has consistently urged the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee to sufficiently fund the program, and last year offered a fully-offset amendment to the Continuing Resolution to restore funding for LIHEAP’s emergency contingency fund, which had been zeroed out.