The LIHEAP Coalition of organizations and companies supporting the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program offered the following update:
Similar to years past, Congress has not completed final action on the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending bill before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2011. This required the Congress to take up two very short-term spending measures to continue the operations of the government, with the current continuing resolution running through November 18th. It is not yet clear how OMB and HHS will allocate LIHEAP funds to the states during this period. As reported below, there are some differences in the method of allocating funds to the states in the Senate and House measures.
On September 23rd the Senate Appropriations Committee favorably reported the FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill to the full Senate. This measure, S.1599, provides $3.6 billion for the FY2012 LIHEAP program which includes $3.4 billion for the formula block grant and $200 million in emergency contingency funds. The Senate bill represents a $1.1 billion decrease in funding for regular LIHEAP program compared to FY 2011. Within the $3.4 billion for the formula block grant, the Senate measure also allows up to $3 million for program integrity and oversight efforts and $27 million for leveraging incentive funds.
On September 29th the House Appropriations Committee released a draft proposal on the FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education funding bill. A subcommittee markup of this draft spending bill has not been scheduled as of this date. The draft proposal recommends $3.39 billion for the FY 2012 LIHEAP formula block grant, but no additional funds for emergency contingency. This also represents a $1.1 billion decrease in the regular LIHEAP block grant compared to FY 2011 and does not provide the $200 million in emergency contingency that was provided last year and also included in this year’s Senate bill.
As you may recall, the President’s proposed budget for FY 2012 recommends funding LIHEAP at $2.57 billion, of which $1.98 billion is for the regular program and $590 million is for the emergency contingency funds.