Trump coronavirus proposal threatens $37M in LIHEAP funding

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MAINE (WABI) - As a part of a $2.5B plan to combat the coronavirus threat, President Trump has proposed diverting $37M from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

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It's a move that would affect thousands of Mainers.

Both of Maine's senators are against the proposal.

"I think it's unconscionable," said Sen. Angus King. "To be taking money out of people's pockets that they need to protect themselves in the middle of a Maine winter. To deal with a problem that we should've known was coming. There was an office in the White House to deal with this. It was disbanded two years ago, if you can believe it. Now they are trying to reach in to take money that Congress has appropriated for one purpose and use it for something else. My suggestion is, if they want to find some money to deal with this, there's this wall thing going on in the southern part of this country. It's billions of dollars, and I don't think it's affectively being spent. That's the place where they might go for the money."

Senators Susan Collins says the need to provide additional funding to fight the coronavirus is urgent, but taking it from LIHEAP would hurt
low-income families struggling to pay their heating bills.