Cicilline, New England Colleagues Push for Additional Home Energy Assistance Funding

Cicilline, New England Colleagues Push for Additional Home Energy Assistance Funding

Jennifer.Bell2…

Thu, 09/15/2022 – 17:55

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) this week joined Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and a coalition of representatives from the New England Congressional Delegations 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, funding for LIHEAP is important for Rhode Islanders who typically face higher energy costs during the colder months.

In their letter, the members noted that the prices of electricity, natural gas, and heating oil remain high—a problem particularly for regions of the country that rely on heating and cooling assistance.

“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.”

You can read the full letter here.
 

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Congress Number
September 15, 2022
September 15, 2022