Friday, December 23, 2005

Nussle Holding Heating Hostage

LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It's used to help provide home heating to those who otherwise couldn't afford it. With natural gas prices rising so dramatically this year, more money is needed to provide even the same level of heating as last year, nevermind population growth and a falling median family income.

Everyone in Congress recognizes this fact. But Republicans, with Nussle in the lead, have tried to use the needed funding increase to blackmail lawmakers into voting for other programs, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and cuts to child support enforcement.

With Democrats and a few renegade Republicans standing strong and forcing some of the worst (though by no means all) of these terrible ideas out of legislation, Nussle and friends have dropped LIHEAP support too. Consequently, no additional funds have been allocated for the program.

I don't know about you, but I would rather not have a governor willing to play politics with something so essential to Iowans as heat in the winter.

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