Federal home heating assistance program is safe, for now

- FILE - Home heating oil delivery (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

MILTON, Vt. (AP) — The federal program that helps low-income people heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer has been saved from elimination in the just-passed federal budget.

But the debate about funding for the next heating season won’t be known until later this year.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the United States rely on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help pay their energy bills.

In March, President Donald Trump proposed cutting about 10 percent from the current fiscal year’s LIHEAP (LYE’-heep) budget. He also proposed entirely eliminating the program for the federal budget that begins Oct. 1. That would include the 2017-2018 heating season.

Congress restored funding for this year. The debate about next year is upcoming.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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