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Senators call for funds to help people pay their heating bills

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – U.S. Senators in Rhode Island and Maine are calling on the Biden administration to quickly send money to the states for the program that helps people pay their heating bills.

American sense Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, said on Friday they were leading a coalition of 36 senators to urge the federal government to quickly release funds for the aid program. low-income home energy at the highest possible level.

Reed and Collins said they are applying now because winter is approaching and energy costs are expected to rise rapidly. Federal funding is a crucial lifeline that helps low-income households and seniors on fixed incomes, they added.

About 5.3 million households across the country received assistance under the program last year, they said.

“This funding will help ensure that low-income families and the elderly do not have to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine, especially with the sharp increase in the prices of the energy this year, ”Collins said in a statement.

Last year, Maine received more than $ 40 million to help nearly 33,000 households. Rhode Island received $ 24 million, plus a one-time boost of $ 30.8 million for the US bailout program, and helped more than 26,000 households last year.

The senators wrote to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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