As Winter Begins, Congress Cuts Home Heating Aid for Poor

Thursday, December 29, 2011
With months of winter still to come, lawmakers in Washington decided to slash federal support for home heating bills by 25%, provoking criticism from politicians of both parties in the Northeast.
Funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), part of the Administration for Children and Families, was chopped from $4.7 billion to $3.48 billion by Congress just before it broke for its holiday recess.
To help make up the difference, some states like Vermont are spending some of their own funds to help residents pay their energy bills.
“There is bipartisan consensus that the state of Vermont is too good, too decent and too caring to let any Vermonter freeze in their home this winter,” Governor Peter Shumlin told The Republic.
As a temporary measure, just before Christmas, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius released $845 million of existing LIHEAP funds to the states.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Vermont to Add $6.1 Million to Heating Assistance Program to Make Up for Federal Cuts (by Lisa Rathke, Columbus, Indiana Republic) 


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