Great Falls Tribune: Rehberg: Pell grants unsustainable

On BlogTalkRadio last month, Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., likened the program to welfare.

“So you can go to college on Pell grants, and maybe I should not be telling anybody this, because it’s turning out to be the welfare of the 21st century,” Rehberg said. “You can go to school, collect your Pell grants, get food stamps, low-energy assistance, Section 8 housing and all of a sudden we find ourselves subsidizing people that don’t have to graduate from college.”

Rehberg later clarified his statement, explaining that an expansion in the number of students who qualify for the grants and the amount of the maximum award have made the program unsustainable.

“The taxpayer is willing to help people go to college, but they don’t want a rapid expansion like that, and there has to be an attempt to try and make sure that the money is going to the people that are most in need and that it is affordable, otherwise the whole system implodes and that’s what happened with welfare,” he said.

Although Rehberg supports the cuts to Pell grants included in the House budget for the 2012 fiscal year, he voted against it based on changes to Medicare also included in the plan.

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