United States Senate Special Committee on Aging

Assisting Seniors with Rising Energy Costs

Senator Kohl is a longtime supporter of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides heat and energy crisis assistance to senior citizens and poor working families in over 4.8 million households nationwide. LIHEAP funds are administered by the states, which are responsible for purchasing fuel, avoiding heat shut offs, and providing other services. In recent years, many Members of Congress have proposed severe cuts in LIHEAP funding, and each year Senator Kohl fights to preserve the program. In 1997, Senator Kohl was honored by the National Energy Assistance Directors Association for his consistent support of LIHEAP.

In Fiscal Year 2006, Senator Kohl successfully fought to increase funding for LIHEAP to $3.161 billion. Most recently, Kohl joined a number of his colleagues in requesting $5.1 billion, the full amount authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, for FY08. He is also urging $5.1 billion in advance funding for LIHEAP in FY09 in order to allow states to pre-purchase fuel and start planning for the winter heating season in spring and early summer, as well as plan for a summer cooling program.