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Higgins Critical of LIHEAP Funding Cut in President's Budget

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Congressman Brian Higgins is critical of President Bush for cutting million of dollars in next year's budget for a home heating program for the poor.

Higgins says New York would lose nearly $64 million in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program -- or LIHEAP -- if the cuts are allowed to stand.

The South Buffalo Democrat says the timing of the cut -- as Buffalo experiences some of the coldest temperatures in years -- is unfortunate.

"Keep in mind that only 25 percent of eligible families receive this benefit," Higgins said. "That means 75 percent of those who do qualify don't get grants because there is not enough funding. So, this would further reduce the number of people who get funding."

Higgins says he's written to House leaders, asking that full funding for LIHEAP be restored when Congress considers the fiscal 2008 budget.