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Legislative Report - July 2006
Legislative Report - June 2006
Legislative Report - May 2006
Legislative Report - March 2006
Legislative Report - February 2006
Legislative Report - January 2006
Legislative Update: Conferees Sign Tax Reconciliation Package Extending Current Dividend & Capital Gains Rates
Legislative Update: Congress Votes to Fund LIHEAP at Highest Level Ever
Legislative Update: Dividend and Capital Gains Taxation
Legislative Update: Dividend and Capital Gains Taxation (April 2006)
Legislative Update: Employee/Executive Letters for OCS Supporters
Legislative Update: Important OCS Action This Week - Take Action
Legislative Update: OCS/Interior Appropriations Expected May 18
Legislative Update: Offshore Access Legislation in the 109th Congress
Legislative Update: Senate Budget Measure Boosts Prospects for ANWR Exploration
Legislative Update: Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Passes Area 181/Oil & Gas Leasing Legislation
LIHEAP Update Summer 2006
Pipeline Safety Bill Passes by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
The Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act
Natural Gas and the Environment (INC)
Access to Supply Issue Resources
Low Income Energy Assistance
Dividend and Capitol Gains Taxation
Submit Comments on Proposed OCS Natural Gas and Oil Leasing Program 2007-2012
Natural Gas Pipelines: Safe, Sound and Underground

 LIHEAP Update Summer 2006 

Note - current state-by-state LIHEAP allocation isĀ available under "Related Links."

Status of LIHEAP Funding

June 13, 2006

The House Appropriations Committee passed the FY07 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill, recommending funding for LIHEAP at $2.111 billion ($1.9 billion base, $181 million emergency). This is essentially the same level of LIHEAP funding the committee approved at this time last year, and only slightly above the President's request of $1.7 billion. AGA will continue to advocate for $5.1 billion for LIHEAP. There will be further opportunities to seek increased funding for LIHEAP as the appropriations process moves forward.

June 7, 2006

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which funds LIHEAP, held the first congressional markup on the FY07 spending bill. AGA requested $5.1 billion for LIHEAP. It is probably that the House will recommend an amount between $2 and $3 billion. In FY05 total funding was $2.2 billion, in FY06 high energy costs brought funding to a historic high of $3.2 billion.

March 23, 2006

On March 21, President Bush signed legislation making an additional $1 billion in energy assistance funds available to low-income consumers in 2006. With his signature, the President expedited the distribution of $1 billion in aid to low-income energy consumers just as many states were beginning to run out of funds. Funds were released to the states on March 23rd.

March 17, 2006

Late on March 16, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by $1 billion. The added funding brings the total level of program assistance for the 2006 fiscal year to a historic high of approximately $3.2 billion. Half of the additional FY06 funds will go to the base program and the other half will go to emergency funds. In its entirety, the $3.2 billion appropriation for FY06 includes nearly $2.5 billion for the base program and another $700 million in emergency funding. Emergency funding is especially significant during extremes of hot or cold weather. Earlier this month, the Senate approved the same level of LIHEAP funding and the measure will next go to the President's desk for signature.

March 7, 2006

On March 7, the Senate approved an additional $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), bringing its funding for FY 2006 to a total of nearly $3.2 billion. If passed by the House, this would be a 50 percent increase in funding for LIHEAP, arriving just in time to prevent energy assistance programs from running out of money for heating and cooling. AGA applauded the first meaningful increase to LIHEAP in 20 years, but pointed out that even at the $3.2 billion level, there are insufficient funds to help the 33 million eligible households. AGA will continue to advocate full funding of $5.1 billion for LIHEAP - the level authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

February 1, 2006

At a "Washington Action Day for LIHEAP" press conference in Washington, AGA called on Congress to increase appropriations for LIHEAP to $5.1 billion, a level that would compensate for 20 years of inflation losses and allow 4.5 million additional low-income families to receive the assistance they need. AGA was joined in the LIHEAP Action Day press conference by U.S. Senators, low-income consumer advocates, charitable organizations, fuel funds and energy utilities.

Anticipated Next Steps

Senate Appropriations FY07: The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to begin consideration of the Labor-HHS spending bill that funds LIHEAP after the July 4th recess. The Senate spending allocation, while slightly higher than the House, has very little room for increases in discretionary spending for programs such as LIHEAP. It is likely that the Senate Appropriations Committee be just over $2.0 billion for LIHEAP, similar to what the House committee approved earlier this month. It is unclear at this time when the bill will come up for a vote, because of a very pressured election-year schedule.

LIHEAP RIK: AGA continues to work with the Department of Interior to implement an royalty-in-kind program that would provide discounted natural gas for low-income energy consumers, as authorized in the Energy Policy Act. The Department continues to express its interest in implementing such a program, but is reviewing its statutory authority. AGA will continue to advocate for the implementation of this program.

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