Bid for More Home Heating Aid Fails in Senate
Thursday, October 27, 2005; A02
The Senate decided yesterday the money was not there for a substantial spending boost for the federal home heating program, deflecting arguments that soaring energy prices could force the poor to choose between heat and food this winter.
Senators voted 54 to 43 in favor of a proposal to boost the fiscal 2006 budget for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program from $2.2 billion to $5.1 billion. A 60-vote majority was needed to approve new spending not coupled with equivalent spending cuts.
Northern senators who pushed for increased spending for the program, led by Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), argued that low-income families would be particularly hurt by the surge in fuel costs.