Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tracking the Forgotten Man's president

A Scrooge McAsshole Christmas gift.

Trump’s Proposal To End Heating Aid For Low-Income Americans Faces Congressional Opposition

President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating heating aid for low-income Americans, claiming it’s no longer necessary and rife with fraud. 

People needn’t worry about being left in the cold, he says, because utilities cannot cut off customers in the dead of winter.

But he is wrong on all counts.

The heating program provides a critical lifeline for people like Perkins, and officials close to the program don’t see any widespread fraud. 

Guidelines for winter shutoffs by utilities vary from state to state and don’t apply to heating oil, a key energy source in the brittle New England winter.

. . . .

The proposal to kill the program, which has distributed $3.4 billion to about 6 million households this fiscal year, will face strong opposition in Congress.

Forty-three senators from mostly cold-weather states already signed a letter urging the Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on an appropriations subcommittee to ensure funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known in many states by its acronym, LIHEAP (pronounced LY’-heep).

. . . .

And programs aimed at preventing utilities from being turned off wouldn’t protect everyone. 

Utility regulations vary, with some states preventing shutoffs during the entire winter and others doing so only on exceptionally cold days.

And there’s absolutely no requirement for heating oil and propane dealers, which are not regulated like electric and natural gas utilities, to make deliveries to customers who cannot pay. 

That’s a big problem in the Northeast, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the nation’s residential heating oil consumption.

Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price, who contends the LIHEAP program doesn’t demonstrate “strong performance outcomes,” said difficult decisions are necessary to streamline the government to focus on the administration’s goals of defense and public safety.

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