Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who have advocated for additional home heating aid as near-record winter cold grips Vermont, Thursday announced the federal release of an additional $2.5 million in heating assistance to the state.
Leahy, Sanders and Welch have long championed the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Thursday released $2,536,734 to Vermont, bringing the total federal funding for the state to $19,139,734 for fiscal year 2014.
In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "With families across Vermont struggling to heat their homes during the brutally cold winter months, any relief is welcome, and we have pushed for this, and more. But more must be done, and we will continue to press for additional support for LIHEAP to ensure Vermonters are able to heat their homes."
With cuts to LIHEAP in recent years, the delegation has continued to fight to restore funding. In December, Leahy and Sanders sent a letter to President Obama urging him to fund LIHEAP at no less than $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2015. Welch sent a similar letter in late January.