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Congress to America: Freeze

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We're still finding out just how reckless the GOP leadership was in the recent budget debacle. Today, the NY Times editorializes on the games Ted Stevens and the GOP leadership played with home heating aid. It's all fun and games for that crowd, but games aren't so funny when people might freeze to death:

There was a heating supplement tied to the Alaska proposal, as Mr. Stevens promised. But there was also a separate $2 billion appropriated for the same purpose elsewhere in the legislation - unconnected to the Alaska floor machinations - that somehow was struck from the final bill as lawmakers rushed to recess. Malice? Who can say? Obviously the poor can't afford a campaign donation PAC to catch Congress's attention for an answer.

The government's home heating supplement now stands at a half or less of what the poor will need if predictions of a harsh winter pan out and fuel bills increase 25 percent. Various studies have established that, in a pinch, the poor scrimp on food purchases in order to meet heating bills. Yet Congress's stinginess is being compounded by the administration's recent decision to reject a request from New York and several other states to increase food stamp outlays to the poor as fuel bills mount.
Who knows what other horrors will show up. The GOP should be proud, very proud.

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