Tester to Senate leaders: Don’t leave Montanans out in the cold

Senator joins bipartisan call for heating assistance for families, seniors

(U.S. SENATE) – With winter quickly approaching across Montana, Senator Jon Tester is pushing the Senate not to turn its back on Montana’s families and seniors and leave them out in the cold.

Tester is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers urging Senate leaders to make sure that low-income families and seniors receive heating assistance as they struggle with energy prices.

“Low-income households spend a higher proportion of their income on energy, and this is particularly true during times of extreme temperatures,” Tester wrote in a recent letter to Senate leaders.  “This funding has been a lifeline during the economic downturn, helping to ensure that people do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for food or medicine.”

Tester also noted that energy assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits small businesses and creates jobs by generating more economic activity.

Demand for LIHEAP assistance has risen since 2008, with 12,000 additional homes in Montana receiving benefits over the last four years. 

This year, some in the U.S. House of Representatives are proposing a 28 percent cut to the popular initiative as well as a change in how LIHEAP dollars are funneled to the states that would benefit southern states. 

Tester’s letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is online HERE.