Obama budget has $2.5 billion cut in heat aid for poor

WASHINGTON Wed Feb 9, 2011 7:15pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will propose cutting $2.5 billion from a program that provides heating assistance to poor people in his fiscal 2012 budget, a source familiar with the budget process said on Wednesday.

The move is likely to upset his political base of left-leaning Democrats while proving his commitment to cut spending to Republicans, who are pressing for major cuts to help reduce the U.S. deficit.

The budget will propose to allocate $2.57 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as LIHEAP, down from an allocated $5.1 billion for fiscal 2010.

The source noted that the $2.57 billion figure was equal to the funding in fiscal 2008.

"Energy prices are now well below their levels in spring 2008 when Congress decided to increase LIHEAP funding to $5.1 billion," the source said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Comments (3)
Trooth wrote:

Good point. We need to cut the budget on everything we can till we get the books balanced. Otherwise everyone is going to be poor and there won’t be any money to give to any cause, good or bad.

Feb 09, 2011 7:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
breezinthru wrote:
Assistance with heating bills should be a state or county concern, not a federal concern. The federal government should concern itself with international relations and projects of such size and scope as to be beyond the capability of local governments.

Feb 09, 2011 8:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Craig_Shultz wrote:
I’m sick of conservative defining what the role of government is and isn’t, they don’t know what they are talking about. Cutting off the poor from heat in the middle of the winter is a drop in the bucket. If you aren’t talking about military spending cuts (60% of discretionary budget) you aren’t talking about spending cuts. We have had massive debt since Reagan, it never stopped us from giving massive tax cuts to billionaires(which have cost trillions). Where was the outcry then? Pure hypocrisy from the right.

Feb 10, 2011 1:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
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