US heat wave: Does Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program live on?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In a survey, more than 80% of people said people with different abilities were treated unfairly at the checkout One of the US government’s main tax credits for…

US heat wave: Does Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program live on?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In a survey, more than 80% of people said people with different abilities were treated unfairly at the checkout

One of the US government’s main tax credits for low-income Americans may not be so straightforward this year.

The so-called Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may not be renewed by Congress before October, US media reports suggest.

Its fate now depends on who wins the midterm elections in November.

One senior Senate Republican described the programme as a “lock” to be renewed before October.

The money in the programme helps low-income Americans pay their heating bills

How much is it worth?

The programme is funded through the US government’s annual budget.

The House of Representatives is now debating its 2018 spending plan for government operations.

How much it costs depends on its level of funding each year. For example, it cost $5.6bn (£4.4bn) in 2015.

The programme is used by about 6 million households in the US to pay their heating bills.

What kind of impact would it have?

Particularly with winter months still to come, a lack of funding could have a big impact on those who may not be eligible for other government assistance.

Who relies on it?

The Census Bureau says more than 32 million people, or 20% of the US population, lived in low-income households last year.

Of these, about 5.2 million households did not qualify for any form of government assistance.

They pay their heating bills out of their own pocket or by heating their homes with cash.

Mr Trump’s Home Energy Assistance Program is aimed at helping these households pay their heating bills.

However, not everyone qualifies for LIHEAP. People with different abilities, such as children or the elderly, may also be disqualified.

What could happen if it doesn’t get funded?

The Americans for Tax Reform – the lobbying group for wealthy Americans – has an influential role in politics.

The group has pushed for deep cuts to the government programme.

It said in a statement that LIHEAP costs the federal government too much money.

“LIHEAP is a place to spend money where it may have helped almost no one at all – especially so at a time when Americans are already suffering from high taxes, regulatory overreach, the massive debt, burdensome burdensome debt, and other tremendous challenges facing our nation,” it said.

The group wants to scale back LIHEAP to $2.1bn (£1.5bn) in savings and reduce the home heating oil programme – which it says results in “fuel theft” and “leaked” heating fuel to illegal drug dealers – to about $100m (£76m).

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