WASHINGTON – The Bush administration will release $200 million to a federal home heating aid program, officials said Friday.
Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, who led a group of northeastern lawmakers calling for more heating assistance, confirmed the amount that the White House will release to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Democrats on Capitol Hill had lobbied aggressively for the money, especially as temperatures around the country have dropped precipitously in the past two weeks.
Most of program's beneficiaries are low-income families and seniors.
The program, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, will send $16.5 million to Pennsylvania, $2.95 million to New Hampshire, $5.8 million to Maine, $2 million to Rhode Island, and $12.3 million to Massachussetts, congressional aides said.
"I'm just very pleased the president followed our recommendation and suggestion," said Reed, a Democrat.
"This money is desperately needed," said Reed. "And it will help people tremendously."
An official announcement was expected later Friday.