Statement on the Release of LIHEAP Contingency Funds
U.S. Representative Tom Allen, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today issued the statement below regarding the release of $121 million in contingency funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
"This decision will make an additional $7,067,286 in LIHEAP funding available to Maine which is good news as another cold winter approaches, but Congress must take even bolder action to provide relief from high prices to families and small businesses in Maine and across America. For the millions of middle class families who do not qualify for LIHEAP, I have introduced legislation to create a $2,000 refundable tax credit for fuel costs. To bring relief to small businesses, the backbone of Maine's economy, I have introduced The Small Business Fuel Cost Relief Act to establish a tax credit for the amount they spend on fuel above the price on Labor Day 2004, adjusted for inflation and to raise the IRS Standard Mileage Rate to 60 cents. I am working with members of Congress from across the Northeast and the Midwest to secure full funding for LIHEAP at the $5.1 billion level Congress authorized and to expand eligibility to enable more families to take advantage of the program. We have also called for appropriation of an additional $1 billion for the LIHEAP Weatherization Program to make it possible for more families to improve home energy efficiency and reduce their fuel needs."