Today, Congressman Mike Michaud had a mixed reaction to the President's Fiscal Year 2013 budget blueprint. While Michaud supports the President's efforts to create jobs and eliminate tax breaks for oil companies, he found the cuts made to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the second year in a row unacceptable. Earlier this year, Michaud sent a letter to President Obama opposing further cuts to LIHEAP.
"I am pleased that the President continues to support the Northern Border Regional Commission and investments in transportation and infrastructure because they directly lead to economic development and job creation. But I strongly oppose the cuts he's proposed to LIHEAP, especially since his own budget indicates that heating oil prices are supposed to reach record highs this year. I strongly support getting our fiscal house in order, but not at the expense of our most vulnerable Mainers," said Michaud.
To accommodate the reduced federal spending caps adopted in the Budget Control Act signed into law last year, the President's budget does not include an extension of the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 a year. It also eliminates special tax breaks for oil and gas companies and corporate jets.
The President's budget also includes an increase to the Department of Veterans Affairs budget, including $278 million, a $27 million increase, to provide supplemental help to family caregivers of the most severely wounded post-September 11th veterans, a program championed by Michaud and signed into law in 2010.
"I don't support everything in the President's budget, but it is an important step in the annual appropriations process. I hope this year Congress can put aside the bickering and partisanship and have substantive discussions about the difficult choices we face as we try to get our country on a more sustainable fiscal path."