Senators Markey and Warren Warn Not to Raid Low-Income Heating Program to Pay for Coronavirus Response
Trump administration proposal to seize $37 million from underfunded LIHEAP program could help 75,000 vulnerable American households afford their energy bills
Washington (February 27, 2020) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Trump administration to stop any proposal to transfer money out of the already underfunded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to support the national response to the coronavirus threat. In a letter sent today to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Senators call instead of new emergency funding to combat coronavirus and point to the fact that reducing the funding for the LIHEAP program – which helps six millions low-income American families across the country afford their energy bills – would mean households would have to choose between paying their energy bill and paying for other necessities like rent, groceries, or medicine.
“We must appropriate the necessary funding to prepare for and respond to the spread of 2019-nCoV, but I urge you to not take any action that would threaten this life-saving, critical program and to address the 2019-nCoV crisis with new emergency funding instead,” write the Massachusetts Senators in their letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “LIHEAP helps low-income families across the country afford heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, saving lives and saving families from housing and food insecurity as a result of high energy bills.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.