Arkansas Senators Lose in Effort to Increase Winter Heating Assistance

OCTOBER 27, 2005 - Posted at 7:52 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The U.S. Senate has failed to pass an amendment offered by Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln dealing with help for paying poor families' heating bills.  Pryor and Lincoln said the amendment would have sharply boosted money allocated to Arkansas to help low-income families with heating bills this winter.

The vote in favor of the amendment yesterday was 54-43, six votes short of the 60-vote majority needed for approval.  The amendment would have raised the budget for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the current fiscal year from $2.2 billion to $5.1 billion.

The amendment would have added the money to a program called "LIHEAP" that helps eligible families pay costs of home heating and insulation in the winter and cooling in the warmer months.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)