Over the coming winter, residential customers are expected to pay 43 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 S. Con. Res. 83, the Senate budget resolution, the Senate approved an amendment by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to restore $1 billion in energy assistance that had been removed by Senate leadership. In addition to easing the burden of fuel costs, these funds will help low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes, making them less vulnerable in the future to high energy prices. On March 16, 2006, the House voted by a 287-128 vote to suspend the rules and pass the Snowe amendment (House roll call vote 66). YES is the pro-environment vote.