Shaheen, Hassan join call for HHS to release remaining $1.5 billion in LIHEAP funding to states
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined a bipartisan group of Senators to call on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to swiftly release the remaining $1.5 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding that Congress delivered in fiscal year (FY) 2023.
In the letter led by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Senators urged HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to immediately distribute the remaining emergency funds to states so they can be disbursed by authorized, local non-profit organizations that deliver social services, community health and housing assistance to low-income, elderly and those with disabilities across the country.
“We write to urge the Department of Health and Human Services to release the remaining Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds as quickly as possible. This will ensure state LIHEAP offices can continue to help vulnerable households keep the heat on this winter and plan for the rest of the program year,” the Senators wrote.
Last November, the Biden administration distributed over $4.5 billion of federal LIHEAP aid to states under the short-term government funding legislation, including $1 billion in emergency funding that Shaheen and Hassan worked to secure. The final Omnibus appropriations law provided additional funds, bringing total funding for LIHEAP to $6.1 billion in FY 2023. LIHEAP is administered by states and in New Hampshire, accessed through local Community Action Agencies. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size and the availability of resources.
The letter was also signed by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Edward Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Angus King (I-ME), Krysten Sinema (I-AZ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Fetterman (D-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Peter Welch (D-VT), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).