Sens. Warnock, Ossoff: “LIHEAP assistance is an indispensable lifeline, helping to ensure that recipients do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and affording other necessities like food and medicine”
WASHINGTON, DC – With temperatures dropping, gas and electricity bills mounting, and COVID-19 infection rates still out of control, U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA), alongside 42 of their Senate colleagues, are seeking a significant boost for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the next pandemic relief package. LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills by providing payment and/or energy crisis assistance. The program is administered by local community action agencies.
“The LIHEAP program is well-positioned to quickly respond to, and support the needs of, millions of American households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who are struggling to heat their homes this winter and cool their homes next summer,” Senators Warnock and Ossoff wrote. “State energy officials have reported that they are ready to move additional LIHEAP funds quickly and have identified a need for an additional $10 billion to serve 11 million families, including newly-eligible households.”
LIHEAP is a proven program with bipartisan support and a proven track record of effectively administering federal funds to qualified households. The Senators are urging additional LIHEAP funding be included as part of a comprehensive federal COVID-19 response that protects vulnerable American households across the country.
“LIHEAP assistance is an indispensable lifeline, helping to ensure that recipients do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and affording other necessities like food and medicine. Yet the annual funding for LIHEAP is only able to provide benefits to approximately one in six eligible households. We appreciate the $900 million included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act for LIHEAP, but those funds are now fully obligated and additional funding is necessary to help the newly unemployed with their growing bills,” the lawmakers continued.
Read the full letter here.