Markey Calls for Immediate Release of LIHEAP Funding
Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742
As Americans begin to experience winter weather, Markey joins 39 Senators in bipartisan letter to Obama administration
Washington (October 31, 2013) - Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass) joined 39 other Senators from both parties in urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) LIHEAP funds as quickly as possible at as high of a level as possible under the current continuing resolution as states prepare their home heating programs for winter.
"LIHEAP funding helps families stay warm and make ends meet during the wintertime, and there is no time to waste in making this funding available as parts of the country are already experiencing severe weather," said Senator Markey. "The sequester has already cut at the heart of this critical funding for households in Massachusetts, and we need to ensure that the funding that's left is made available immediately so that states can plan accordingly. I will continue to work to ensure that LIHEAP funds are released as needed this winter and fight to return LIHEAP to full funding levels."
Rising energy prices and the recovering economy have forced record numbers of Americans to apply for home heating assistance in recent years, and the number of households eligible for the program continues to significantly exceed those able to receive assistance. Yet despite these challenges, in recent years there have been significant reductions to LIHEAP funding. Nationally, funding for LIHEAP has been decreased by more than a third over the last four years, leading to funding cuts of more than $60 million for Massachusetts over that time. As a result, the average LIHEAP benefit for a Massachusetts family fell more than 40 percent from FY2010 to FY2012. In Massachusetts roughly 200,000 families received heating assistance from LIHEAP in FY2012, a decline of nearly six percent from the previous year.
A copy of the letter can be found HERE .