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House committee backs energy program for poor

SHARE House committee backs energy program for poor

A House committee has voted to back an energy assistance program for the poor for two more years even though another House panel has moved to kill it.

Action Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce demonstrates continuing support among some lawmakers for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program but does not ensure that the program will be funded next year.The program, a legacy of the oil crisis of the 1970s that critics say has outlived its purpose, is routinely targeted by budget-cutters in Congress, and its spending level has dropped by more than half since 1985.

The program served 4.3 million households in 1997, mostly families in Northern states needing assistance with heating bills.