With home heating bills headed higher, New England lawmakers seek more federal energy assistance for low-income families

WASHINGTON — With the cost to heat homes this winter set to jump dramatically because of the war in Ukraine, members of Congress from New England are pushing the federal government to provide more money to help low-income families pay the higher bills.

Lawmakers are seeking an extra $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, in the broad spending bill Congress must pass by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown.

“LIHEAP is one of the most critical programs we have to provide heating assistance to seniors and low-income families,” said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat. “With the increase in heating costs, we’re going to need more resources to provide the ability for these families and seniors to make it through the winter.”