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Arizona's Democratic congressmen push for more federal energy payment assistance

Lawmakers are asking Congressional leaders to ramp up a federal program that helps low-income families with energy costs.

The  request comes from 115 U.S. representatives — including Arizona Democrats Ruben Gallego, Raúl Grijalva and Greg Stanton.

They’re asking for $1.6 billion to go toward the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program — which is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The lawmakers say the program is a lifeline for families having to choose between staying warm, and paying for food and medicine. 

They say more than 6 million households were using the program in 2022 but that it’s historically underfunded. And as negotiations over government spending packages continue, that funding should be included.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.