Home Heating Help

With the cold-weather season just around the corner, Vermont Wednesday received a timely infusion of $2.5 million more in home heating relief. The announcement came on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reiterated his support for the effort spearheaded by Senator Bernie Sanders to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Coordinating efforts on the House side, Congressman Peter Welch has secured similar support from House leadership. Sanders said, "

With the cold-weather season just around the corner, Vermont Wednesday received a timely infusion of $2.5 million more in home heating relief. The announcement came on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reiterated his support for the effort spearheaded by Senator Bernie Sanders to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Coordinating efforts on the House side, Congressman Peter Welch has secured similar support from House leadership. Sanders said, "This $2.5 million is a critical first step in the fight to ensure that Vermonters do not go cold this winter. Now we need to keep up the pressure to secure additional funding so that we can get the millions more we need to protect seniors and children in this environment of wildly volatile and unnecessarily high energy prices. This is going to be tough in the final days of this Congressional session but the Vermont delegation is all pulling together to get it done."

Congressman Welch said, "This is a critical step, but we need to double heating assistance funding to avert what could be an extremely dangerous winter for low income Vermonters."

President Bush Wednesday directed Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt to release the entire remaining contingency fund -- $100 million appropriated for this year and $20 million left over from a previous appropriation, as called for in the amendment by Senator Patrick Leahy "Soaring home heating costs already are a clear and present threat facing thousands of Vermont households," said Leahy. "These funds were doing no good sitting in an agency's vault. Congress appropriated these funds for times like these."