Democratic Reps. protest Obama budget cuts
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), with Boston resident Katherine Oliveri, who relies on LIHEAP assistance to pay heating bills.
March 8th, 2011
04:57 PM ET

Democratic Reps. protest Obama budget cuts

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) - Hours before President Obama was to fly to Boston to push his administration's education initiative, two congressmen from the president's own party held a press conference to protest the administration's proposed budget cuts to a program to help the poor afford heating oil.

Massachusetts congressmen Jim McGovern and Michael Capuano joined former Democratic congressman Joe Kennedy to criticize the administration's attempts to cut in half the $5.1 billion budget to fund LIHEAP, the low income energy assistance program.

McGovern said that while he has been a firm supporter of Obama, this was not a protest against the president but instead against the cuts.

"I appreciate his leadership on so many issues, but we need his leadership here," said McGovern, standing in front of the home of an elderly Boston couple who are struggling to pay their heating bills using LIHEAP assistance.Kennedy admonished the president by saying that simply because the Republicans won the election it "doesn't mean we drop our values and give the poor a cold shoulder."

When Obama submitted his budget last month he warned that there would be painful cuts including some to programs he supports.

He did allow that he might revisit cuts to LIHEAP if energy prices were to spike again.  Both Democratic congressmen today said they had not spoken to the White House since the crisis in Libya caused oil prices to rise dramatically in the past two weeks.

McGovern and Capuano said they had not planned to stay for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser with Obama tonight in Boston, but instead were flying back to Washington for votes.

Topics: Budget • President Obama • The News

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. mattski

    Well I must admit, tiny cuts like this aren't going to help anything anyway, but it's just like Ron Paul said in an interview today - most people leave his office saying 'Make the tough spending cuts, but don't cut anything that affects me'. Sooner or later the tough cuts need to be made. Someone will be able to come up with a heartfelt, truly sad story for every spending cut that is made.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • clwyd

      Right! make the cuts that don't affect me, but give the tax breaks for the rich and corporations!

      March 9, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  2. Former Republican, now an Independent

    We need to be cutting deeper, but cutting into the pet interests that the republicans refuse to put on the table. These modern day republicans want to cut education, defense, mass transportation, energy conservation and a host of other important items for the future of America, yet will not discuss all of the tax cuts they have given to Wall Street and other wealthy campaign contributors.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Always been an Independent

      And the democrats have placed all their pet projects on the table? HA! Quit the hypocracy. BOTH parties have caused this problem, not just one.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Objectionist

      Could you please detail some of the tax cuts you are talking about?
      Please also provide examples of the cutting that you are speaking of (specifically Defense).

      March 9, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  3. Aaron

    You know it's not an election year. Keep tax cuts for the rich, cut heating assistance for the poor. The poor who survive the next 2 winters can be assured that come election time, they (or their votes) will be important again.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  4. Gaylon Barrow

    You can figure this cut out fairly quickly. A group of our citizens do not live in the North where Oil and Coal is burned for heating the houses. They mostly live in the southern states and western states. most burn wood or Propane gas. The ones in town have natural gas for their fuel. So go figure Obama is only concerned in making cuts that will not help the Nation as a whole only a certain group who support him in votes. IMPEACH THIS TRAITOR NOW.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  5. Mychelle

    What these want to be headliners are not saying is that the budget was 2 billions when Obama came into the office and Obama raised it to 5+ billion because of the high cost of gas. More than any other President before him. He is just adjusting it to bring it in line with other budgets. The final budget is still higher than it has ever been. When are these professional politicans on both sides going to stop posturing and do the job ther were hired to do. Really Come On!!!!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  6. Right

    only one obama is trying to hurt are the elderly White people, thats because obama and his rib and tater eating wife are Black Racists.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • Jeannie

      You are a real idiot. Blacks continue to experience Racism and it doesn't matter that we have a Black President. Some white people will always think they are superior, and they are not. Anytime white people percieve something is being taking away from them, something they think they are entitled to, they get in an uproar. Now you know how the other half feels.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  7. clwyd

    the president needs to remember he is a democrat and not a repulsive republican!

    March 9, 2011 at 7:56 am |
    • whatparty

      how about doing what is best for the country and not what is best for either party?

      March 9, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  8. sara

    Well I guess it was more important to allocate 2 Billion dollars to struggling countries then it is to take care of our own poor.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  9. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Ok, McGovern where do you propose the cuts should be made?

    March 9, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • Mr.Joseph Boston

      How about you take the cuts from the military R&D!? hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year for military R&D would it hurt to cut it by just 1 billion?? If the US government had 1 less submarine they could fund the national heating program..! I think America would be safe minus 1 submarine....

      March 11, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  10. Daveil

    Obama's proposed cuts are insignificant and, in many cases, designed to bring about howls of outrage that we would consider cutting something for the poor or for the elderly or for the disavantaged or for school children or for whatever else can be used as an emotional appeal to keep right on spending money we'll have to borrow from China. Obama's cut backs are like giving up a stick of gum a day right after you've just taken on both a car and mortage payment.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  11. vegas01

    Of course they balked, they want increases. They believe they deserve it.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Jeannie; That's the truth! That's the reason I preach about racism so hard. I know it so well!

    March 10, 2011 at 5:51 am |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Right; you are wrong! Oh, I must say I disagreed with that particular cut in the budget too, but I certainly hadn't related the heating funding program cut as anywhere near being a race-based issue, black, white or other. Believe me, I usually do detect even the most subtle hint of a racist agenda! Therefore, for you to say the PRESIDENT is ONLY trying to hurt elderly white people, you need to do some checking! You will find that there are tens of thousands of blacks who depend on that program too!

    March 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm |