WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken urged the Obama administration to take into account the high demand for heating assistance and restore funding to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to a level no less than $4.7 billion.

In a bipartisan letter to President Obama that was sent with 38 other senators, Klobuchar and Franken requested that LIHEAP funding be included in the President's Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal.

"As some parts of our country continue to face rising energy costs, LIHEAP helps to ensure that people do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for food or medicine," wrote the senators. "With the average LIHEAP grant estimated to cover less than half of the average home heating costs for a household this winter, many low income families and seniors will struggle to pay for the basic necessity of home energy and will have fewer resources available to meet other essential needs. As you finalize your FY 2017 budget request, we ask that you take into account the high demand for LIHEAP assistance."

Since taking office, Klobuchar and Franken have successfully fought to ensure that tens of millions of dollars in emergency LIHEAP funding have been available to Minnesota families and seniors, a release said.