WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), joined a bipartisan letter led by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release funds for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as swiftly and at the highest level possible under the current continuing resolution:

“As state agencies work to prepare their LIHEAP programs for the coming winter, it is crucial that they have the resources they need to assist low-income households and seniors as soon as possible, especially in light of the current health crisis. As such, we request that you quickly release LIHEAP funds at the highest level possible to allow states to prepare for the upcoming season, so that low-income households do not have to choose between paying for heat and affording other necessities like food or medicine,” wrote the Senators.

BACKGROUND: LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills by providing payment and/or energy crisis assistance. In 2018, over 27,000 Nevada households were served by the LIHEAP program. Additionally, over 80% of Nevada households that rely on LIHEAP have at least one vulnerable member (a Nevadan over 60 years of age, a disabled Nevadan, or a Nevadan under the age of 6).

In April, Senator Rosen joined a letter urging the Trump Administration to quickly release $900 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding that Congress included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below: 

Dear Secretary Azar:

With passage of the continuing resolution, we write to urge the Department of Health and Human Services to release Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds as quickly and at the highest level possible.

As the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, LIHEAP provides critical assistance during the cold winter and hot summer months.  October marks the start of the heating season for many states and low-income families and seniors will be facing additional strains on their household budgets.  In addition, millions of low-income families, including seniors, are facing new and severe financial hardship due to the coronavirus, making the assistance provided through LIHEAP more important than ever.

As state agencies work to prepare their LIHEAP programs for the coming winter, it is crucial that they have the resources they need to assist low-income households and seniors as soon as possible, especially in light of the current health crisis. As such, we request that you quickly release LIHEAP funds at the highest level possible to allow states to prepare for the upcoming season, so that low-income households do not have to choose between paying for heat and affording other necessities like food or medicine.

We look forward to continuing to work with you on this critical program, and thank you for your attention to our concerns and those of our constituents.

Sincerely,

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