Saturday, July 29, 2017

Trump Wants to End Heating Aid for Low-Income Americans, It’s “No Longer Necessary” and “Rife with Fraud”

by Paula Kennedy, Liberal Speak, July 28, 2017

One of Trump’s new plans is to get rid of the Low-Income House Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which helps provides aid to people who struggle to pay for heat when cold temperatures hit during the winter. Trump claims that the program is not a necessity, even though it helped provide heat for 6 million families last year.

Trump is just continuing to make changes that don’t affect him but that deeply hurt some of America’s most needy citizens.

The Associated Press reports:

The summer air is sizzling as the Fourth of July approaches, yet 86-year-old Richard Perkins already worries about how he’s going to stay warm this winter.

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.

“It’s beyond my thinking that anyone could be that cruel,” said Perkins, a retired restaurateur who relies on the program to keep warm in Ogunquit, Maine.

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.

Trump’s suggestion has already faced plenty of backlash. Nearly 50 Senators have come together to urge that the program should continue to be funded.