Over the coming winter, residential customers are expected to pay 43.4 percent more for natural gas than they did the previous winter. This will be a particular blow for low-income families as they struggle to balance their energy needs with food, shelter and other basic concerns.
During consideration of the Senate budget resolution, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) offered Senate Amendment 2194 to raise funding for the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by $2.92 billion. This increase would not only help mitigate this tremendous
economic blow, but would also assist families in retrofitting and weatherizing their homes.
Opponents of the bill raised a point of order against it, arguing that it wasn’t germane to the budget resolution. On October 26, 2005, the Senate voted 54-43 to waive the point of order (Senate roll call vote 270). YES is the pro-environment vote. However, that fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to move the amendment forward.