LiHEAP Funding Increase Filibustered
On Saturday, Senate Republicans successfully filibustered the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act (S. 3186), a bill which would have provided an additional $2.5 billion in funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), nearly double its current funding.Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a cosponsor of the bill, issued this statement:
“At a time when oil companies are raking in record profits, the stubbornness of those who stood in the way of helping people in desperate need is incomprehensible to me. It is an outrage. The American people do not want to see the most vulnerable among us held hostage by the Senate Republican leaders.”
The National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association has projected that nationwide, the average cost of heating a home this winter will total about $1,114 – 14.6 percent more than last year.
Republican senators Coleman (Minn.), Collins (Maine), Smith (Ore.), and Snowe (Maine) voted with the 45 Democrats and Independents in attendance in favor of the bill. Coleman, Collins, and Smith are up for reelection this year (and are from northern states).
Senators not voting: Allard (R-Col.), Bond (R-Mo.), Bunning (R-Ken.), Burr (R-N.C.), Dole (R-N.C.), Graham (R-S.C.), Harkin (D-Iowa), Inhofe (R-Okla.), Inouye (D-Haw.), Isakson (R-Ga.), Kennedy (D-Mass.), McCain (R-Ariz.), Murray (D-Wash.), Obama (D-Ill.), and Warner (R-Va.).