Heating fuel assistance funding cuts draw ire of Rep. Kuster
"The sequestration hit us really hard last year," said Celeste Lovett, fuel assistance program manager at the New Hampshire Office of Energy Planning. Lovett said the program lost more than $1.6 million in funding, which directly affected about 1,200 families in the state.
"We are so close to the edge this year in terms of our funds," said Lovett, who fears she may have to turn people away. "That would be terrible."
In 2008, the program provided Granite State families with nearly $51 million in assistance. That declined in 2009 to $36.6 million, in 2010 to $36 million, in 2011 to $26 million and in 2012 to $24 million.
Kuster is hopeful that a budget agreement will be reached this week, as she called the sequestration "detrimental."
"We have some families that are really struggling," Tracy Desmarais, energy crisis coordinator for Southern New Hampshire Services told Kuster.
She again called on Congress to replace the sequester with a more balanced, responsible plan to reduce the deficit, create jobs and strengthen the middle class while also restoring LIHEAP funding to New Hampshire.
"It's ironic that Annie Kuster is calling on Congress to do anything considering that Kuster didn't vote for a single budget proposal this past March," claimed Prior. "Kuster should stop grandstanding for voters and start doing her job by either voting for a budget or proposing one herself. Otherwise, she is literally giving Granite Staters nothing more than empty rhetoric."
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