09.19.18

Leahy Secures New Funding For LIHEAP

. . . Final Appropriations Package Rejects Trump Proposal To Kill All LIHEAP Funding

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $3.69 billion in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, better known as LIHEAP. 

The LIHEAP funding is in a package of appropriations bills passed by the Senate on Tuesday, thwarting President Trump’s repeated efforts to eliminate a program thousands of Vermonters rely on to heat their homes during the cold New England winters.  The appropriations package – which has already been through Senate-House conference negotiations – will now be taken up by the House of Representatives, and it is on track to be signed into law by the end of the month. 

Leahy said:  “No family should have to choose between ‘heat or eat’ in Vermont or in any community in our country.  LIHEAP has a long history of bipartisan support, and I’m glad the Senate continued that tradition and rejected President Trump’s misguided and cruel proposal to eliminate this program.”

Leahy, a longtime advocate of supporting and strengthening LIHEAP, was a leading member in the months of bill writing and negotiations leading to Senate passage Tuesday.  The package is a $50 million increase for LIHEAP over fiscal year 2018 nationally.  Vermont received more than $20 million in LIHEAP funding in fiscal year 2018.  More than 6 million low-income households, and more than 20,000 in Vermont, rely on LIHEAP to defray their home energy costs.

LIHEAP has proven to be one of the most effective safety net programs, successfully leveraging investments from all stakeholders in keeping families safe and healthy.  Despite this, President Trump repeatedly has tried to eliminate funding for the program. 

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