Kuster Presses for Additional Home Energy Assistance Funding
Washington, September 14, 2022
Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined a coalition of Representatives from the New England Congressional Delegation in writing to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees, urging them to include additional funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the upcoming government funding package. As winter approaches, LIHEAP will become a critical source of funding for households in New Hampshire and throughout New England.
In writing to press for additional LIHEAP funding, Kuster was joined by 18 other Members of Congress, including Reps. Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), David Cicilline (RI-01), Richard Neil (MA-01), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Bill Keating (MA-09), Jim Himes (CT-04), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Jared Golden (ME-02), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), John Larson (CT-01), and Jim McGovern (MA-02). Click here to read the full letter.
In their letter, Rep. Kuster and the New England Delegation Members – led by Reps. Courtney and Pingree – noted that the prices of electricity, natural gas, and heating oil remain high—a particular problem for New England and other regions of the country that rely on these heat sources as winter approaches. Specifically, they stated:
“As members of the New England delegation, we urge the Committee to include additional funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the upcoming continuing resolution. After spending the last several weeks speaking with constituents in our districts, it is apparent that the highest possible supplemental funding level is needed to support heating needs in the winter season across the nation and particularly in New England.
“We greatly appreciate the Committee’s proposed increase for the annual appropriation for LIHEAP for Fiscal Year 2023 […] but we urge the committee to ensure that the final level of emergency funding reflects the acute needs of regions that rely on heating and cooling assistance.
“The United States has experienced severe energy shortages and price increases due to a variety of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Severe weather in the upcoming months could make this shortage even worse. […]
“These shortages contribute to the high prices which are having significant impacts on our region’s electric, heating oil, and natural gas customers. […] These increased costs will strain the finances of vulnerable families, forcing many to fall behind on their utility bills and make other difficult financial decisions.
“Even under normal circumstances, LIHEAP provides vital assistance for families across the country who need assistance with their heating and cooling costs and their home energy bills. With the current energy crisis in New England, it is even more important that Congress meets the needs of families that rely on LIHEAP to afford their energy bills. We urge the Committee to meet the demand of New England and the rest of the nation by appropriating emergency supplemental funding for LIHEAP in the upcoming continuing resolution.”
To read their full letter in support of LIHEAP, click here.