The Continuing Resolution became Public Law on September 27, 2012 providing funding for government operations, including LIHEAP, through March 27, 2013. At NEADA’s request, the bill included language (Sec. 146) that specifically authorizes payments at the same rate as provided for in FY 2012:
Section 146. The first proviso under the heading ‘‘Department of Health and Human Services—Administration 20 for Children and Families—Low Income Home Energy Assistance’’ in division F of Public Law 112–74 shall be applied to amounts made available by this joint resolution 23 by substituting “2013” for “2012”.
The FY 2012 appropriation provided $3.478 billion for LIHEAP. Of this amount, $3.478 billion was provided by formula of which $497 million was provided through the Tier 2 part of the formula. The appropriation also allowed the Secretary to reserve up to $3 million for training and technical assistance and monitoring of program activities for compliance and internal controls, policies and procedures.This provision would be continued under the Continuing Resolution.
In other words, the CR provides the same funding level for LIHEAP for FY 2013 as was provided for FY 2012 through March 27, 2013. In practical terms what this means is that states will be allowed to spend down their allocations at the same rate as they spent funds in FY 2012. Its possible that when Congress does get around to passing a full-year bill they could reduce funds remaining for LIHEAP but its unlikely because some states will have already spent the majority of their allocation.
Sequestration: one possibility is that if Congress does not reduce spending overall to meet other budget targets by January, about 8.2% of FY 2013 program funds could be cut as a result of the sequestration process. For LIHEAP, that would mean a cut of $285 million. Its not clear if the cuts would be allocated by formula or as a straight across-the-board cut. Also, this is still not definite. Congress could reach an agreement to delay the cuts or replace them with targeted cuts by specific program areas.