January 21, 2010

Whitehouse Praises Administration Decision to Release $4 million in Home Heating Aid for Rhode Island

Washington, D.C. – President Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release $490 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) contingency fund. The release follows a request from 48 Senators led by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and will give Rhode Island $4,083,587 in federal funding to help families struggling with high energy prices heat their homes and pay their bills.

“In these tough economic times this is welcome news for Rhode Islanders who continue to struggle with high energy prices,” Whitehouse said. “Senator Reed has been a tireless advocate for Rhode Island families in need of energy assistance, and I’m proud to stand with him in this effort.”

On January 7, Reed, Whitehouse and 46 of their colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging the release of contingency funds for LIHEAP. The Fiscal Year 2010 LIHEAP contingency fund contained a total of $590 million with $100 million now remaining to be released at the President’s discretion.

LIHEAP is a federal program that provides states with annual funding to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. Last year, 5.8 million low-income households nationwide, including nearly 34,000 in Rhode Island, relied on LIHEAP to assist with the costs of heating and cooling their homes.


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