Former Sen. Alan Simpson is not amused by President Obama’s plans to drastically cut a program that provides energy to low-income families.
Earlier this week Obama unveiled his budget proposal that included cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP ). The cut is significant, calling for the program's budget to be reduced to $2.5 billion from $5 billion. Not surprisingly, the reduction of a program that will likely mean low-income families will have their heat cut off is not popular with Democrats. Surprisingly, one Republican has already called foul on this cut. That man happens to be former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, who Obama tasked with finding cuts to reduce our national deficit just a year ago.
In an interview with National Public Radio’s Steve Inskeep, Simpson was his usual outspoken self about cutting the program.
Here is the printed version of the exchange between the two over the budget and LIHEAP.
INSKEEP: Do you think that it is possible, however you figure out the numbers, to balance the budget or move it close to balance while preserving what we call the social safety net that has grown up in this country across many decades?
SIMPSON: Heating. That Leap group.
SIMPSON: Yup, that's a critically important thing. That shouldn't even be touched. You don't need to touch that, you need to go get rid of 250,000 contractors in the Defense Department where you can really pick up some small change.
This is all an interesting conversation in the wake of both the proposed budget and the demise of the Simpson’s debt commission. It is also worth considering that Simpson may become a thorn in the side of the very man who appointed him. Funny how that happens in Washington.