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