Montana students, teachers & roads face uncertain future
BILLINGS, Mont. – With a critical deadline that threatens Montana’s students, teachers and highway jobs, Congressman Dennis Rehberg is taking another week-long break from his own job.
Rehberg’s recess comes after he and his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to prevent interest on student loans from doubling, and renewed their plans to kill a long-term reauthorization of the Highway Bill–which includes resources for Montana schools and counties.
Without agreement in Congress, those initiatives will expire in 19 days–at the end of June.
And with the deadline looming, Rehberg is off again, with no public events announced for this week.
“It’s clear Congressman Rehberg’s agenda of protecting tax loopholes for millionaires is more important than the future of Montana’s students who face interest rate hikes, teachers who face unnecessary pink slips and roads that need to be maintained,” said Montanans for Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy.
To prevent student interest rates from doubling for 25,000 Montana students, Congress needs to act by July 1. Rehberg’s Senate allies blocked a recent proposal, supported by Jon Tester, to prevent interest rates from doubling.
Rehberg is also abandoning Montana roads and the jobs they create as he continues to stall a bipartisan highway bill passed through the U.S. Senate with several important Montana provisions.
A Montana county commissioner recently pointed out that efforts to stall the highway bill will also put some Montana teachers out of work by stalling the Secure Rural Schools initiative.
In March the Billings Gazette recognized the value of the Senate highway bill calling on Rehberg “to persuade his fellow GOP lawmakers that the Senate bill is the best route for the country this year.”