Letter to Jack Kingston, Chairman and Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor for Health and Human Services and Education - Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Funding

Letter

By:  John Tierney Jim Costa Carolyn McCarthy Mike Capuano Joyce Beatty Diana DeGette Carolyn Maloney Tim Walz Gene Green Peter DeFazio John Sarbanes Albio Sires Sean Maloney Chris Van Hollen, Jr. Brian Higgins Barbara Lee Sandy Levin Grace Meng Gerry Connolly Keith Ellison Richard Neal Betty McCollum Alcee Hastings, Sr. Ted Deutch Juan Vargas Al Green Derek Kilmer Kyrsten Sinema Joe Courtney Mike McIntyre Linda Sánchez Frank Pallone, Jr. Maxine Waters Daniel Lipinski Peter Welch Pedro Pierluisi Filemon Vela, Jr. Louise Slaughter Rush Holt, Jr. Gregory Meeks Yvette Clarke Debbie Wasserman Schultz Jerry Nadler Tony Cárdenas John Delaney Allyson Schwartz Bill Keating Niki Tsongas Bennie Thompson Jim Gerlach Dan Kildee Grace Napolitano Frank LoBiondo Nick Rahall II Luis Gutiérrez Ed Perlmutter Gloria Negrete McLeod Corrine Brown Frederica Wilson Danny Davis G.K. Butterfield, Jr. Alan Lowenthal Lacy Clay, Jr. John Lewis Eleanor Norton David Scott Lou Barletta Paul Tonko Bobby Scott Bob Brady Karen Bass John Conyers, Jr. Cheri Bustos Suzanne Bonamici Charlie Rangel Eliot Engel Ann Kirkpatrick Jim Himes Kilili Sablan Donna Christensen Dutch Ruppersberger Emanuel Cleaver II Cedric Richmond Tim Bishop Joe Crowley Steve Israel Mark Takano Raúl Grijalva Carol Shea-Porter Elijah Cummings Jim McDermott Judy Chu Matt Cartwright Denny Heck Sheila Jackson Lee Mike Doyle André Carson Raul Ruiz Hank Johnson, Jr. Earl Blumenauer Mike Fitzpatrick Henry Waxman Bill Foster Jim McGovern Jan Schakowsky Ron Barber Loretta Sanchez Michael Grimm Tom Marino Mark Pocan Donna Edwards Dan Benishek Ron Kind David Cicilline Collin Peterson Bill Owens Stephen Lynch Dave Loebsack John Dingell Gary Peters Katherine Clark Ann Kuster Chris Gibson Steve Cohen Marc Veasey Bobby Rush Ben Lujan, Jr. Marcia Fudge Bill Pascrell, Jr. Pete King Joe Kennedy III Elizabeth Esty Jim Langevin Gwen Moore Don Payne, Jr. Jim Moran, Jr. John Yarmuth
Date: April 4, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Chairman Kingston and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As the Subcommittee develops its FY2015 appropriations bill, we respectfully urge you to prioritize commitment for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a vital safety net for our nation's lowest-income households. We write to urge you to include no less than $4.7 billion for the LIHEAP program in your FY2015 appropriations bill.

As you know, LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households, veterans, and seniors with their energy bills, providing vital and temporary assistance during both the cold winter and hot summer months. LIHEAP helps to ensure that people do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for food or medicine. The record breaking and life threatening cold that has swept much of the nation this winter is a reminder of the importance of the program.

A strong LIHEAP program is necessary to effectively meet the critical needs of our constituents, especially as energy costs remain high, the economy is still rebounding, and record numbers of families turn to the program for assistance. Furthermore, recent lower funding levels have impaired the program's ability to meet growing demand. According to the National Energy Assistance Director's Association the total number of households receiving LIHEAP assistance has declined by 17 percent between FY2010 and FY2013, from about 8.1 million to 6.7 million.

Although economists Mark Zandi and Alan Z. Blinder estimate that every dollar invested in LIHEAP generates $1.13 in economic activity, recipients have seen their average LIHEAP grant reduced by more than $100 since 2010. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that average winter home heating costs would rise six percent to $977 per household this winter, meaning that many low-income families and seniors will have fewer resources available to meet other basic needs.

Continuing lower levels of funding for LIHEAP will have a devastating impact on millions of American families already suffering during the economic downturn. We urge the Appropriators to provide funding no less than $4.7 billion in the FY2015 appropriations bill.

Sincerely,

Peter Welch (D-VT)

Robert A. Brady (D-PA)

Peter T. King (R-NY)

Marc Veasey (D-TX)

James P. McGovern (D-MA)

Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)

Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Christopher P. Gibson (R-NY)

Timothy J. Walz (D-MN)

Michael G. Grimm (R-NY)

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)

John F. Tierney (D-MA)

Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Lou Barletta (R-PA)

Dave Loebsack (D-IA)

Gene Green (D-TX)

Bill Owens (D-NY)

Sander M. Levin (D-MI)

Dan Benishek (R-MI)

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)

John Lewis (D-GA)

Mike McIntyre (D-NC)

Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL)

Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL)

Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY)

Raul Ruiz (D-CA)

Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)

Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA)

Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Joyce Beatty (D-OH)

Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Mark Pocan (D-WI)

William R. Keating (D-MA)

Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT)

Richard E. Neal (D-MA)

David Scott (D-GA)

Hank Johnson (D-GA)

Katherine M. Clark (D-MA)

Danny K. Davis (D-IL)

Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA)

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)

Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)

Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)

Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)

Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Niki Tsongas (D-MA)

Dan Kildee (D-MI)

Corrine Brown (D-FL)

Bill Foster (D-IL)

Grace Meng (D-NY)

Denny Heck (D-WA)

James P. Moran (D-VA)

John Delaney (D-MD)

Paul Tonko (D-NY)

Rush Holt (D-WV)

James R. Langevin (D-RI)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Mark Takano (D-CA)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Ron Kind (D-WI)

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)

Jim Costa (D-CA)

Juan Vargas (D-CA)

Matt Cartwright (D-PA)

John A. Yarmuth (D-KY)

John P. Sarbanes (D-MD)

David N. Cicilline (D-RI)

Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA)

Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)

John D. Dingell (D-MI)

Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)

André Carson (D-IN)

Joseph Crowley (D-NY)

Al Green (D-TX)

Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

Ron Barber (D-AZ)

Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

Tony Cardenas (D-CA)

Judy Chu (D-CA)

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA)

Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-PR)

Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

Diana DeGette (D-CO)

Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY)

Cheri Bustos (D-IL)

Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)

Timothy H. Bishop (D-IL)

Albio Sires (D-NJ)

Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL)

Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)

Betty McCollum (D-MN)

John Conyers (D-MI)

Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)

Michael E. Capuano (D-MA)

Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)

Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA)

G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)

Gary C. Peters (D-MI)

Jim Gerlach (R-PA)

Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH)

Donna F. Edwards (D-MD)

Keith Ellison (D-MN)

James A. Himes (D-CT)

Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)

Steve Cohen (D-TN)

Steve Israel (D-NY)

Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD)

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-NMI)

Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)

Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)

Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)

Mike Doyle (D-PA)

Donna Christensen (D-VI)

Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)

Filemon Vela (D-TX)

Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)

Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Tom Marino (R-PA)

Joe Courtney (D-CT)

Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Nick J. Rahall (D-WV)

Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

Dan Lipinski (D-IL)

Karen Bass (D-CA)

Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ)

Peter Welch (D-VT)

Robert A. Brady (D-PA)

Peter T. King (R-NY)

Marc Veasey (D-TX)

James P. McGovern (D-MA)

Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)

Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Christopher P. Gibson (R-NY)

Timothy J. Walz (D-MN)

Michael G. Grimm (R-NY)

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)

John F. Tierney (D-MA)

Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Lou Barletta (R-PA)

Dave Loebsack (D-IA)

Gene Green (D-TX)

Bill Owens (D-NY)

Sander M. Levin (D-MI)

Dan Benishek (R-MI)

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)

John Lewis (D-GA)

Mike McIntyre (D-NC)

Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL)

Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL)

Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY)

Raul Ruiz (D-CA)

Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)

Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA)

Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Joyce Beatty (D-OH)

Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Mark Pocan (D-WI)

William R. Keating (D-MA)

Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT)

Richard E. Neal (D-MA)

David Scott (D-GA)

Hank Johnson (D-GA)

Katherine M. Clark (D-MA)

Danny K. Davis (D-IL)

Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA)

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)

Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)

Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)

Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)

Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Niki Tsongas (D-MA)

Dan Kildee (D-MI)

Corrine Brown (D-FL)

Bill Foster (D-IL)

Grace Meng (D-NY)

Denny Heck (D-WA)

James P. Moran (D-VA)

John Delaney (D-MD)

Paul Tonko (D-NY)

Rush Holt (D-WV)

James R. Langevin (D-RI)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Mark Takano (D-CA)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Ron Kind (D-WI)

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)

Jim Costa (D-CA)

Juan Vargas (D-CA)

Matt Cartwright (D-PA)

John A. Yarmuth (D-KY)

John P. Sarbanes (D-MD)

David N. Cicilline (D-RI)

Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA)

Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)

John D. Dingell (D-MI)

Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)

André Carson (D-IN)

Joseph Crowley (D-NY)

Al Green (D-TX)

Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

Ron Barber (D-AZ)

Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

Tony Cardenas (D-CA)

Judy Chu (D-CA)

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA)

Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-PR)

Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

Diana DeGette (D-CO)

Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY)

Cheri Bustos (D-IL)

Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)

Timothy H. Bishop (D-IL)

Albio Sires (D-NJ)

Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL)

Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)

Betty McCollum (D-MN)

John Conyers (D-MI)

Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)

Michael E. Capuano (D-MA)

Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)

Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA)

G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)

Gary C. Peters (D-MI)

Jim Gerlach (R-PA)

Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH)

Donna F. Edwards (D-MD)

Keith Ellison (D-MN)

James A. Himes (D-CT)

Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)

Steve Cohen (D-TN)

Steve Israel (D-NY)

Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD)

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-NMI)

Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)

Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)

Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)

Mike Doyle (D-PA)

Donna Christensen (D-VI)

Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)

Filemon Vela (D-TX)

Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)

Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Tom Marino (R-PA)

Joe Courtney (D-CT)

Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Nick J. Rahall (D-WV)

Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

Dan Lipinski (D-IL)

Karen Bass (D-CA)

Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ)