STATEWIDE (WGME) – Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are speaking out against President Trump’s plan to fight the coronavirus — in particular — a proposal to divert millions of dollars from the program that helps low income residents pay for heat.
Both of Maine’s senators — Republican Susan Collins and Independent Angus King — said while the fight against coronavirus is urgent, taking funds away from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, is wrong and would hurt families struggling to pay their heating bills in the middle of winter.
The Trump administration is seeking $2.5 billion dollars to battle the coronavirus here in the United States and has proposed taking $37 million of that from LIHEAP.
Last fall, Collins and King announced $36 million in LIHEAP funds for the state.
King said he knows where to find the needed money.
“If they want to find some extra money, I have an idea. There’s this wall thing going on where I think billions of dollars are being spent. Not very effectively. If they’re looking for money that’s a place they ought to look before taking emergency help away from people in Maine and across the northern tier states in the middle of the winter,” King said
King said he wants more information about exactly how the administration wants to use the money.
He said he expects the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee to dig into the issue Friday and possibly through the weekend.