Democratic News

Last week, 35 Senators made a bipartisan appeal to leadership to add $3.62 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to the economic stimulus package.  The increase would fully fund the program at $5.1 billion in FY08 and provide an additional $500 million in contingency funds.

Growing energy costs and cold weather have made additional LIHEAP funding a necessity for low-income families, seniors on fixed incomes and the disabled.  Funding in the stimulus plan would be used immediately by these households to help them pay their energy bills, jumpstart the economy and support small businesses that deliver heating fuels.
Bingaman:  “On Monday, President Bush spoke to the concerns at kitchen tables across the country.  He acknowledged what we’ve been hearing from our constituents for some time: families are struggling.  A sizable part of the squeeze they’re feeling comes from the prices they’re paying to heat their homes. 
“If a stimulus package is going to have an impact, it’s got to infuse money into the economy immediately.  If we’re able to pass this amendment, and the stimulus is signed, LIHEAP funds could immediately be put into the hands of the people who need them the most.  That’s why I strongly believe that LIHEAP and similar programs should be a part of the stimulus package, and why I will support Sens. Reed and Collins when they offer this amendment on the floor.”
# # #