Earlier this month, the senators called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to quickly release as much heating aid as possible
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 Minnesotans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a push from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, the Administration today released over $100 million in critical heating assistance for Minnesota seniors and families. Earlier this month, the senators joined a bipartisan group of 44 senators calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to quickly release as much heating aid as possible. In the last few years, spiking energy costs have led to a significant increase in demand for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which Minnesota seniors and families rely on to help keep their heat on during the winter months.
“Last winter’s freezing temperatures showed us how critical heating aid is to ensuring Minnesota families can pay their heating bills and put food on the table,” Klobuchar said. “With winter fast approaching, we need to do everything we can to make sure that Minnesotans aren’t left out in the cold. This funding will help ensure that families and seniors across our state have the support they need to keep their homes warm.”
“With cold weather in Minnesota just around the corner, no family should have to choose between heating their home and putting food on the table,” Franken said. “Last winter’s record low temperatures reminded us how important this type of support is to families and seniors across Minnesota. LIHEAP eases the burden for Minnesotans to heat their homes, and I’m pleased to see these funds released so quickly.”
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. During a propane shortage last winter, the senators secured an additional $16 million in extra heating resources for Minnesota households.
The full text of the senators’ October letter is below:
Dear Secretary Burwell:
As state agencies prepare their Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) programs for the winter, we respectfully request that the Department of Health and Human Services release LIHEAP funds as quickly and at as high of a level as possible under the current continuing resolution.
LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing critical assistance during the cold winter and hot summer months. This funding has been an indispensable lifeline during challenging economic times, helping to ensure that recipients do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for other necessities like food or medicine. On average, low-income families and seniors spend a higher proportion of their income on energy, and for many states, October marks the start of the heating season, creating an additional constraint on these household budgets.
As the relevant state agencies begin to provide assistance for this winter, it is critical that they have the resources to assist low-income households and seniors as soon as possible. Therefore, we request that you quickly release LIHEAP funds and at as high of a level as possible in order to allow states and low-income households to prepare for the upcoming season.
We look forward to continuing to work with you on this critical program, and thank you for your attention to our concerns and those of our constituents.