'Absolutely Shocked': Trump Budget Could Cut Heating Aid | NECN
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'Absolutely Shocked': Trump Budget Could Cut Heating Aid

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Under Donald Trump's new budget proposal, millions of people would lose assistance with their heating bills. People like Elizabeth George of Manchester, New Hampshire, are relying on that help to stay warm through the winter.

    (Published Friday, March 17, 2017)

    Under President Trump's budget proposal, millions of people would lose home heating help, including more than 30,000 families in New Hampshire.

    Elizabeth George of Manchester has been dealt a tough hand. She was forced to move from a $400,000 luxury condo to this second floor Manchester apartment. This winter, she has to rely on federal assistance to stay warm.

    Her life changed in March of 2009.

    "I was rear ended at a red light by someone going 65 mph," George said.

    And just like that, she went from making six figures to living on a $1,200 Social Security check.

    "I was raised to work, so it's very humbling to be on Social Security, but I need it," George said.

    She is one of 30,000 families in the Granite State who get help heating their home through a federally funded program called the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

    "I received $847," George said.

    In President Trump's budget proposal, LIHEAP is on the chopping block.

    "I was absolutely shocked," she said. "Part of being an American, the pride my family put in me as an immigrant in Boston, is that we took care of the weaker and the people who needed it."

    Under the budget blueprint, New Hampshire stands to lose about $26 million in home heating benefits, money that George says is make or break for the families using it.

    "I wouldn't be in this apartment," she said. "I'd probably be homeless."

    It's a long way from where she once was.

    "It's shameful and I hide it," she admits.

    But she wasn't hiding anything Friday, eager to let everyone know that her story could be theirs – and then what?

    "I wouldn't be so quick to judge," She said. "Those programs are a necessity, you can’t take from people who have nothing already."

    The administration's budget called LIHEAP a "lower-impact" program. George is hoping stories like hers will convince Congress otherwise.

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