Members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation are asking the federal government to approve billions of additional dollars to help families heat their homes this winter.
Congressmen Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro have joined with other Representatives to seek 9 billion dollars for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or "LIHEAP" funding. They also want Congress to approve another billion dollars for weatherization tax credits.
Courtney says Connecticut received about $70 Million in LIHEAP funding last year. This year, lawmakers want to see that amount tripled.
"The policy of this country, since the Energy Assistance program was created, was that we are never ever going to let a person freeze in their own home. This winter, that policy is going to be challenged at a level we have never seen in the history of this country. "
It is expected that Connecticut will see home heating oil prices double this winter.
Last year, 99,000 applied for the assistance, and only 83,000 people were approved. According to congressman Chris Murphy, one in five families who are eligible for the program are actually using it, which leaves room for expansion.
The legislation is currently on the floor of the house. The Connecticut Delegation hopes the funding will be approved before congress adjourns in September.