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Heat for poor people
Heat for poor people
The contingency budget for the program that provides heating assistance for those with low incomes was cut by $390 million.

The contingency budget is supposed to be used for unforeseen costs, like rising oil prices. The fund's main budget of $4.5 billion was unchanged from last year's level.

Supporters of the cuts note that this year's heating season is over, so it's unlikely the contingency funds will be needed.

Critics say some of the money is also spent on air conditioning costs, and a disaster that causes energy prices to surge could happen at any time.

NEXT: Housing assistance for Native Americans
Last updated April 15 2011: 7:23 AM ET
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