Rep. Andrews Fights for Lower Cost Home Heating
Two weeks ago, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3043) was passed by congress but was unfortunately vetoed by the president.
H.R. 3043 is a bipartisan and fiscally responsible bill that addresses the needs and priorities of the American people, including home heating assistance for 1.5 million American families through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
In addition, the bill would have provided critical funding for health care, education, and job training. Many government programs would have had money appropriated to them if the bill passed including the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Employee Benefits Security Administration; the Health Resources and Services Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; education for the disadvantaged; career, technical, and adult education; certain student financial assistance programs, as well as federal administrative expenses for such programs.
At the beginning of this month, Congressman Welch and I introduced H.R. 4066, the Close the Enron Loophole Act.' This bill allows the Commodities Futures Trade Commission to properly oversee speculation and price manipulation in the energy market. In 2000, the Enron lobby pushed through a loophole that exempted energy markets CFTC regulation. This bill that Congressman Welch and I have proposed seeks to end this loophole.
Despite accounts of the bill being an "excess in spending," the cost of home heating oil has nearly tripled since 2001 - from $627 in 2001-2002 to $1,841 in 2007-2008. Know that I will continue to fight for our citizens to ensure a cost effective means for home heating both in supporting H.R. 3043 and pushing for the passage of H.R. 406