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Rep. McKinney Decries Cuts to Low-Income Heating Program and Summer Jobs for Teens

July 1, 1998

"Republicans plan for the poor and elderly to sit in the cold in the winter and our youth to run the streets in the summer."

(Washington) - Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney today vehemently opposed the Republican plan and called on Republicans in Congress to restore funding for the Low Income Home Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and summer jobs for disadvantaged teenagers.

Last week, Republicans on the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee voted to eliminate the two important programs. The bill is expected on the floor of the House of Representatives in July. LIHEAP helps pay heating and air conditioning bills in 4.4 million of the poorest households in the country, including many senior citizens. The summer jobs program provides 530,000 jobs to the most disadvantaged young people in the U.S.

These cuts would be devastating to the people of Georgia,” McKinney said. “Over 80,000 households in Georgia receive heating assistance. Two-thirds of people who receive home energy assistance make less than $8,000 a year! Taking away their assistance to pay heating and air conditioning bills could be financially disastrous.

“The Republican vote to end the summer jobs program is equally disturbing. Unstructured summer breaks will only lead to trouble. Today close to 10,000 young people in Georgia are working this summer because of the federal summer jobs program. Having our young people out on the streets instead of working is a not a plan and is sure to be detrimental to their futures.

“I intend to fight these harmful cuts when the full House votes later this summer to make sure we protect our low-income elderly and young people,” concluded McKinney.

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