Murkowski Continues Fight For LIHEAP Aid

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Murkowski is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation that attempts to fund the low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP) at 2011 levels.  Senators Snowe (R-ME) and Reed (D-RI) are the sponsors of S.1961, the LIHEAP Protection Act which would maintain a flat funding level of $4.7 billion instead of the $3.6 billion currently in the 2012 Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies bill.

“I worry that so many rural Alaskans are facing high prices on heating oil they can barely afford,” Murkowski said. "I understand that every expense needs to be scrutinized, but more Americans are falling below the poverty line and struggling with the most basic monthly expenses.”

When the FY2012 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill was originally considered, LIHEAP was cut by over $1 billion dollars from FY2011 funds to a level of $3.6 billion nationwide. These programs help economically challenged areas in Alaska and across the country with their heating needs in the cold Alaskan months.

Senator Murkowski raised objections to these cuts during a committee hearing in September and vowed to continue pressing for more aid to Alaskans.