Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Senate OKs $1B to Help Poor Afford Energy
Associated Press ^ | 08 March, 2006 | JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press

Posted on 03/08/2006 10:21:17 AM PST by newgeezer

WASHINGTON -- The Senate has agreed to put an additional $1 billion this year into a program to help poor people with energy costs, but only after overcoming resistance from warm state senators who said those suffering from summer heat weren't getting their fair share.

The additional spending would increase to $3.1 billion the amount the federal government will have this year for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a decades-old program that subsidizes heating and cooling costs for poor families.

The legislation, which still must be considered by the House, passed by a voice vote Tuesday, but only after a lengthy debate between northern state senators, who said rising heating costs were creating a crisis in their states, and lawmakers from warmer states who claimed they were being shortchanged.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, D-Maine, sponsor of the legislation, said people in her state were going without food to pay for heating or, in more dire cases, being hospitalized with hypothermia. "Come to Maine and tell us about it being a mild winter," she said.

Snowe's original bill would have distributed $250 million under an existing formula that she said would mainly benefit warm-weather states. The remaining $750 million would have been labeled contingency funding and disbursed at the discretion of the president. The money was shifted from $1 billion that had been set aside for fiscal 2007.

But that wasn't acceptable to several of her Republican colleagues from the South and Southwest, who said that division would only exacerbate the program's traditional slant toward heating rather than cooling assistance.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said LIHEAP spending tends to be front-ended, with the money being used up in the winter months so nothing is left when the temperatures in Arizona climb over 100 degrees. He said the Arizona LIHEAP program reaches only 4 percent of those eligible for assistance.

Kyl said all the money should be decided by formula so that all states were guaranteed a fair share.

"We don't deny there is a need," said Rep. John Ensign, R-Nev. But "is it fair across the country or does it benefit some states and not other states?"

Snowe finally offered a compromise under which 50 percent of the new money would be distributed according to the existing formula, and the other 50 percent be considered emergency spending. That proposal was approved 68-31.

"We're denying the president the ability to respond to an emergency," she said of the Kyl proposal. "States are going to receive funding when there is no emergency?" she added. "How does that make sense?"

Congress authorized $5.1 billion for home energy aid as part of an energy bill passed last summer, but budgetary constraints pushed the final figure for fiscal 2006 down to $2.1 billion, largely unchanged from the $2 billion level that has held steady in recent years.

Last week Snowe successfully overcame opposition from conservative Republicans, led by Rep. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who tried to kill the bill on the grounds that the spending was not offset by cuts in other programs.

Federal assistance for home energy costs, dating back to the oil crisis of the 1970s, now reaches some 5 million families. Proponents of expanding the program say the $2 billion budget doesn't go very far when there are some 33 million households, spending about $55 billion a year in energy costs, eligible for the program.

___

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap/


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: Maine; US: Nevada; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: 109th; accordingtoability; accordingtoneeds; buyingvotes; deregulation; energy; entitlements; federalspending; handouts; incrementalism; liheap; marxism; payingpaul; robbingpeter; roleofgovernment; snowe; socialism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-130 next last
Sen. Olympia Snowe, D-Maine

LOL. I bet the RINO doesn't even flinch if she sees that.

1 posted on 03/08/2006 10:21:18 AM PST by newgeezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

That is a riot -- yeah, probably wouldn't bother her liberal butt one bit. :-)


2 posted on 03/08/2006 10:23:36 AM PST by EagleUSA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
Sen. Olympia Snowe, D-Maine,

She's made it official now?

"Come to Maine and tell us about it being a mild winter," she said.

I'm in Maine for 5 years now, and this has been a mild winter. It's now 45.7 degrees outside my house. There is no snow on the ground. About 3 weeks ago, we had 12 inches on a Sunday, by Tuesday it was 100% gone.

3 posted on 03/08/2006 10:25:07 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Cool, i didn't know the feds were paying bills for poor folks now.

Where can i sign up?


4 posted on 03/08/2006 10:26:11 AM PST by tfecw (It's for the children)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne
I'm in Maine for 5 years now, and this has been a mild winter.

Don't expect the truth to come between a politician and her emotional reasonings.

5 posted on 03/08/2006 10:28:35 AM PST by newgeezer (a fundamentalist, regarding the Holy Bible AND the Constitution. Words mean things.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

hey, i've got a better idea. how about they lower gas taxes? that would make a lot more sense than charging me a tax then giving it back in heating credit.
oops.. i forgot, we have to tax everyone so the "poor" don't have to pay for anything.


6 posted on 03/08/2006 10:30:51 AM PST by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne
Sen. Olympia Snowe, D-Maine, She's made it official now?

LOL! Perhaps the AP writer just had a Freudean slip.

7 posted on 03/08/2006 10:31:16 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (What? Me worry?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
Ah well, what's a billion here, a billion there. It's not their money, after all.

Our money is going to be worthless if these traitors keep printing and spending like drunken sailors.

8 posted on 03/08/2006 10:33:37 AM PST by CrawDaddyCA (There is no such thing as a fair fight. Thou shall win at all costs!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tfecw
Cool, i didn't know the feds were paying bills for poor folks now.

"The additional spending would increase to $3.1 billion the amount the federal government will have this year for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a decades-old program"

Every so often, the gas and electric companies include an insert with their bills asking for contributions to their LEAP funds. I suppose that's their way of giving the non-taxpayers among us a chance to contribute, because I've always known Congress contributes on my behalf.

9 posted on 03/08/2006 10:34:40 AM PST by newgeezer (a fundamentalist, regarding the Holy Bible AND the Constitution. Words mean things.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer


Great, more big government spending...


10 posted on 03/08/2006 10:37:28 AM PST by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Mildest winter in years so we have to cough up $1 BILLION? And we wonder why we have a out of control defecit. More Gutless Congressional Grandstanding.


11 posted on 03/08/2006 10:39:17 AM PST by MNJohnnie ("Good men don't wait for the polls. They stand on principle and fight."-Soul Seeker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
"I suppose that's their way of giving the non-taxpayers among us a chance to contribute..."

I'm sure they then use that data to enhance the "If congress doesn't "donate" for the people, people won't choose to donate" argument.
12 posted on 03/08/2006 10:40:18 AM PST by tfecw (It's for the children)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Just end it already! 100% taxes for all.


13 posted on 03/08/2006 10:42:09 AM PST by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tfecw
I'm sure they then use that data to enhance the "If congress doesn't "donate" for the people, people won't choose to donate" argument.

On a related note, I'm sure a good many of us learned a lesson in the wake of Katrina about being too quick to contribute.

14 posted on 03/08/2006 10:45:56 AM PST by newgeezer (a fundamentalist, regarding the Holy Bible AND the Constitution. Words mean things.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

This won't give the poor any incentive to insulate, buy a more efficient furnace, get new windows, caulk, turn off lights, replace bulbs with fluorescents..... just have the gummint pay the bills and you can leave the lights on.


15 posted on 03/08/2006 10:45:59 AM PST by D-Chivas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Congress should just send the households in the north a copy of the tax code that is printed up each year. I'm sure the poor could heat their homes easly just throwing a few dozen pages in the fire every day during the winter.


16 posted on 03/08/2006 10:46:11 AM PST by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

But I thought Hugo Chavez was helping all of the good Liberals and RINO's in the Northeast with cheap heating oil?


17 posted on 03/08/2006 10:48:19 AM PST by The South Texan (The Democrat Party and the leftist (ABCCBSNBCCNN NYLATIMES)media are a criminal enterprise!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MaDuce
Congress should just send the households in the north a copy of the tax code that is printed up each year. I'm sure the poor could heat their homes easly just throwing a few dozen pages in the fire every day during the winter.

They use the left overs in the commode and defer the cost of the Charmin as well.

18 posted on 03/08/2006 10:49:49 AM PST by IamConservative (Who does not trust a man of principle? A man who has none.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
"Senate OKs $1B to Help Poor Afford Energy"

I don't see energy coming from this guy.


19 posted on 03/08/2006 10:50:30 AM PST by jdm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
warm state senators who said those suffering from summer heat weren't getting their fair share.

PROOF the vast majority of GOP Senators are NOT conservative!

What happened to "It's not the job of the Government to keep you warm!?"

20 posted on 03/08/2006 10:52:05 AM PST by Sometimes A River (allow Common Sense and Faith to trump Logic and Reason)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VeniVidiVici

The writer made another mistake too. John Ensign is the junior Senator from Nevada.


21 posted on 03/08/2006 10:53:10 AM PST by TexCon ("Strike while the iron is hot, and make it hotter by striking"-Oliver Cromwell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

I live in the central valley and I sure as heck would like some energy assistance. The prices of electricity and natural gas here is KILLING us. In the summer (when it is 117 degrees) our electric bill runs $400-600 a mnth. And that is with the air set on 80 degrees.
We freeze in the winter and burn up in the summer because of the price of our gas and electric bills.
This state will see the last of me next yr hopefully.


22 posted on 03/08/2006 10:54:24 AM PST by sheana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sheana

oops, central valley California


23 posted on 03/08/2006 10:54:56 AM PST by sheana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: D-Chivas; biblewonk
This won't give the poor any incentive to insulate, buy a more efficient furnace, get new windows, caulk, turn off lights, replace bulbs with fluorescents..... just have the gummint pay the bills and you can leave the lights on.

In fact, when biblewonk sent me the link to this article, he mentioned how any number of the many handout recipients in his 'hood are always leaving their doors hanging wide open, even in the cold of winter. Why should they give a damn?

Meanwhile, I remind my kids not to take so long to survey the refrigerator contents.

24 posted on 03/08/2006 10:55:31 AM PST by newgeezer (a fundamentalist, regarding the Holy Bible AND the Constitution. Words mean things.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Acts 2:38
That is a 48% increase!

Inflation is running less than 4%, and Bush and the Republican increase the wealth transfer from taxpayers to slackers and lazy bums by 48! All this will get is more cigs and beer for the the gimmee-gimmee crowd, and more disposable money for cocaine--maybe a plasma TV or two.

I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a conservative. Bush is no Ronald Reagan. Republicans are liberals.

25 posted on 03/08/2006 10:58:07 AM PST by Dont_Tread_On_Me_888 (Bush's #1 priority Africa. #2 priority appease Fox and Mexico . . . USA priority #64.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Things like this make the LP look better and better.


26 posted on 03/08/2006 10:58:15 AM PST by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sheana
I live in the central valley and I sure as heck would like some energy assistance.

Resist the temptation, fight to end regulations that prevent industrious people in supplying the consumers more resources for their demands.

Of course let the environmentalist be damned! Let free enterprise reign, not a bureaucracy that steals from "the people" to give to others for votes and power.
27 posted on 03/08/2006 11:02:10 AM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: EagleUSA

"That is a riot -- yeah, probably wouldn't bother her liberal butt one bit. :-)"

Olympia Snowe has the highest job approval rating of any US Senator: 75% positive. For the folks in Maine, she's obviously doing a lot that they like.


28 posted on 03/08/2006 11:05:28 AM PST by jamese777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: rollo tomasi

But I didn't say I wanted government energy assistance! I want them to butt out so the prices will go down.
Of course I have given up on that and we have just decided to leave California instead.


29 posted on 03/08/2006 11:07:34 AM PST by sheana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne
I'm in Maine for 5 years now, and this has been a mild winter.

20+ years, and yes, this winter has been warmer than average. Not just a little bit, either.

     WEATHER ITEM   OBSERVED TIME   RECORD YEAR NORMAL DEPARTURE LAST
                     VALUE   (LST)  VALUE       VALUE  FROM      YEAR
                                                       NORMAL        
     ..................................................................

     ...THE MILLINOCKET  ASOS CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR MARCH 7 2006...

     DEGREE DAYS
      HEATING   
       SINCE MAR 1    306                       305      1      313     
       SINCE JUL 1   5793                      6632   -839     6414

     ...THE PORTLAND CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR MARCH 7 2006...

     DEGREE DAYS         
      HEATING            
       SINCE MAR 1    264                       252     12      279
       SINCE JUL 1   4854                      5459   -605     5340

     ...THE HOULTON CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR MARCH 7 2006...

     DEGREE DAYS                                                                            
      HEATING   
       SINCE MAR 1    321                       311     10      332
       SINCE JUL 1   6147                      7030   -883     6948

     ...THE CARIBOU CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR MARCH 7 2006...

     DEGREE DAYS         
      HEATING
       SINCE MAR 1    333                       320     13      347
       SINCE JUL 1   6475                      7245   -770     7135

     ...THE BANGOR CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR MARCH 7 2006...

     DEGREE DAYS         
      HEATING
       SINCE MAR 1    306                       269     37      304
       SINCE JUL 1   5340                      5824   -484     5966

http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/me/climate.html

30 posted on 03/08/2006 11:07:36 AM PST by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

"States are going to receive funding when there is no emergency?" she added. "How does that make sense?"

That makes perfect sense for Congress' mindset.
...Let's shovel out more money so we can keep people dependent on the government. And, oh yeah, it just costs the taxpayers more, but who cares. It makes us Congressmen LOOK like we are really needed...


31 posted on 03/08/2006 11:09:52 AM PST by Mrs. Darla Ruth Schwerin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jamese777

Mainers are a funny cross-breed of conservalibs.


32 posted on 03/08/2006 11:12:41 AM PST by Lunatic Fringe (Olfrygt: the nagging fear of being unable to find beer while out of town.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Bookmaestro

The same Rinos wont drill now will take away your money and this stuff at inflated prices.


33 posted on 03/08/2006 11:17:14 AM PST by fooman (Get real with Kim Jung Mentally Ill about proliferation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
Every so often, the gas and electric companies include an insert with their bills asking for contributions to their LEAP funds. I suppose that's their way of giving the non-taxpayers among us a chance to contribute, because I've always known Congress contributes on my behalf.

Read the requirements to get this credit

Many folks who have a hard time paying for their heating/electric bills don't fall under the requirements

Then there are other who can pay their bills and don't

Years back Mayor John Street of Philadelphia owed PECO a bundle from unpaid bills

IMO .. Congress needs to kill the taxes on utility bills .. then folks could better afford to pay their bills

34 posted on 03/08/2006 11:17:39 AM PST by Mo1 (Republicans protect Americans from Terrorists.. Democrats protect Terrorists from Americans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Another billion dollar giveaway of taxpayer money? We need to elect Republicans to control the Senate to cut out the socialism. Whoops. Never mind.


35 posted on 03/08/2006 11:19:36 AM PST by reelfoot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Darn I missed reading about this in the Constitution..what did all those early settlers do to keep warm before the Feds stepped in to pay the bills? I bet they probably starved to death or froze to death if they didn't work or had friends and family to help them out.


36 posted on 03/08/2006 11:27:42 AM PST by rolling_stone (Question Authority!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

unbelievable. there are a billion plus ways to waste more tax payer money.


37 posted on 03/08/2006 11:30:20 AM PST by The Lion Roars
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Please sir, more energy please!

Can't we strive to be more like wonderful France and just let the poor and elderly freeze or cook as appropriate?

/sarcasm


38 posted on 03/08/2006 11:31:03 AM PST by TC Rider (The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

I work hard! People on welfare depend on me daily!


39 posted on 03/08/2006 11:58:07 AM PST by b4its2late (Terrorists will either succeed in changing our way of life, or we will change theirs. - Rummy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

ROTFLMAO! What an entirely crass way to buy votes for her 2006 re-election effort.


40 posted on 03/08/2006 11:59:02 AM PST by BJClinton (33)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
ROFLMAO! Didn't someone break the news to the dolt Senators winter is nearly over?? Yeah, right. They can give away $1 billion for unnecessary pork barrel spending but turn right around and whine we can't afford tax cuts. Very funny.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

41 posted on 03/08/2006 12:00:33 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

Not Yours To Give


42 posted on 03/08/2006 12:10:35 PM PST by Sir Gawain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Indy Pendance
Just end it already! 100% taxes for all.

lol - Trouble is, they won't end it at 100%. It will go to 110% -- then 120% ---

43 posted on 03/08/2006 12:14:09 PM PST by LurkedLongEnough
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

I live in Edmonton AB, and we have had a very mild winter. This global warming must be great for the poor with regard to their energy costs, so why are we passing this kind of legislation??


44 posted on 03/08/2006 12:15:27 PM PST by proud_yank (Liberalism - The 'Culture of Ignorance'.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: LurkedLongEnough

Just imagine if that happened. The work force would dry up.


45 posted on 03/08/2006 12:16:48 PM PST by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: rolling_stone
FUEL FOR THE POOR OF THE CITY


WOOD FOR THE POOR OF GEORGETOWN


Bravo Mr. Polk!!!!

46 posted on 03/08/2006 12:17:06 PM PST by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: rolling_stone
Darn I missed reading about this in the Constitution..what did all those early settlers do to keep warm before the Feds stepped in to pay the bills?

Actually, in some ways it is the government's (or perhaps governments') fault. Strict burning laws, more regulations than you can shake a stick from an endangered tree at, not allowing people to have fires in their own yards, etc and so on.

Back in settler days you could do a lot more to keep warm. Try that now and see how fast the fire marshall, code enforcers, etc come a knocking on your door :)

47 posted on 03/08/2006 12:25:50 PM PST by ChessMan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer
Whenever (ultra-liberal) Philly mayor John Street talks about the LIHEAP program, he calls it LIHOP.
48 posted on 03/08/2006 12:33:53 PM PST by Physicist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newgeezer

This is a joke, right?


49 posted on 03/08/2006 12:34:55 PM PST by Osage Orange (Molon Labe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tzimisce

Snowe and the other Democrats are actually socialists, and the Republicans are fake capitalists. This is more of the same: unconstitutional redistribution of private property (income, assets) via taxation. Money is taken from me and you to give it to other people for their heating bills, housing, retirement, medical care, food, and probably for beer, cigarettes, and illegal drugs too. Where in the Constitution is this theft of property permitted?


50 posted on 03/08/2006 12:34:57 PM PST by pleikumud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-130 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson