With winter quickly approaching and heating oil prices nearing $4 a gallon, Bernard Wheeler, 73, of Mount Holly, Vt., has realized the devastating effects of the billions of dollars in cuts to the federal heating assistance program. This year, Wheeler received enough money to buy little more than 100 gallons of heating oil, hardly enough to get through the winter. "They are taking the fuel assistance away from us to give it to the 1 percenters on top -- the millionaires. Like they need it," said Wheeler, who continues to work part-time running the bailer at a recycling center in Belmont, Vt., to help pay his bills.
"I really don't know how I am going to pay for heat this year. I am a single mom of three children and I work a full-time job," Fawn Joy, 29, of Lyndon, Vt., wrote to Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I did receive ... fuel assistance but know that won't even fill my tank when it becomes empty."
"After close to a combined 60 years of working, paid up college tuition bills, always having paid our state and federal taxes, rent, mortgages and credit card bills, my husband and I ... cannot make it to ‘retirement age' without help," said Alice Peal, 60, of Waitsfield, Vt. "We will apply for heating assistance."
The senator is leading a campaign in Congress to avert steep cuts in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, to help Vermonters like Fawn an Alice and seniors and families with children all across America.