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September 29, 2022

LIHEAP, Disaster Relief, Ukraine Support, Government Spending Bill Passes Senate

Bill now heads to House of Representatives for a vote expected Friday

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King today applauded the Senate’s bipartisan 72-25 passage of HR 6833, a federal government funding package that included significant support for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), nationwide disaster relief, and Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression. LIHEAP is receiving an additional $1 billion dollars in the package – millions of which will go to Maine to help the thousands of families across the state who rely on the program. The package is expected to receive final approval by the House of Representatives this week.

“The Senate has taken a significant step today to provide aid to those across our country and the world and who need it the most,” said Senator King. “With heating costs on the rise, this critical LIHEAP funding will help thousands of Maine families keep warm this winter and avoid tough choices between paying for heating, or putting food on their table. The package also supports millions of Americans who have experienced the devastation of extreme weather events like floods, wildfires, and tornadoes. Beyond our shores, the bill includes more essential assistance for the brave Ukrainian men and women fighting to protect their country from Putin’s unprovoked invasion – it’s a relatively small investment with huge dividends for global democracy and the security of Europe. All told, this funding will save and improve countless lives and I hope the House can pass it quickly.”

The package funds the federal government through December 16th, 2022 and includes:

  • $1 billion for LIHEAP, which helps families afford their heating and utility bills during the coldest winter months;
  • $12 billion in critical emergency aid for Ukraine as the country continues to defend itself from Putin’s vicious attacks, and $35 million to promote nuclear nonproliferation efforts in the region;
  • Billions in disaster aid to Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and New Mexico to recover from floods, wildfires, and other disasters;
  • Reimbursement benefits for veterans traveling to access mental health services at Vet Centers until September 2023;
  • $2.8 billion to support continued national security efforts and ensure our servicemembers continued to get paid.     

Senator King has been one of the Senate’s most vocal advocates for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). He urged the administration to include LIHEAP aid in the American Rescue Plan, and announced that Maine would receive over $90 million – twice the average allocation – in fiscal year 2022 LIHEAP funding thanks to increased investments included in the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. 

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