Thursday, February 17, 2011

Obama's Budget Proposal and LIHEAP

This past week Obama unveiled his budget plan for 2012 with the plan to significantly reduce the federal deficit as well as cut domestic spending. Obama revealed his plan with bipartisan ambitions: stating that both parties will need to work together in order to achieve a lower federal deficit. Both Democrats and Republicans have concerns over this new budget plan, but there are some major concerns for many citizens who either provide or receive various social services. One of the proposed cuts to program spending was the topic of a past blog series: the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program. Obama’s Budget plan would reduce spending for LIHEAP to 2.57 billion from 5.1 billion in 2009. LIHEAP advocates estimate that this will leave 3.5 million households without the energy assistance they need. This could include many households in Delaware County, where many residents struggle to make ends meet and end up having to sacrifice having a warm home in order to put food on the table. This budget cut will end up affecting some of the most vulnerable members of the United States population, as well as the population here in Delaware County.

Obama’s Budget plan is a proposal; here in the United States Congress adds their own stipulations to the Budget and must approve it, as well as receive the President’s approval after making changes. This week we will describe some of the proposals made by Obama and what they will mean for residents of Delaware County, but it is up to you to fully understand what the budget is and how it will affect you. Thus United Way encourages you to take action! Learn more about what the budget is and does and speak with your state senator or representative to advocate for what you believe should be included in the federal budget.

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