Next on Rehberg’s wipeout list: Education & jobs

Congressman wants to get rid of education opportunities while protecting tax breaks for millionaires

BILLINGS, Mont. – After trying to eliminate health care services for women, Congressman Dennis Rehberg is now putting education opportunities and hundreds of volunteer service jobs on his chopping block–while protecting tax breaks for millionaires.

Rehberg is in charge of the House committee that oversees funding for education and health initiatives. His new budget proposal makes deep cuts to AmeriCorps and education opportunities for Montana students.

Rehberg’s proposal completely eliminates AmeriCorps, a volunteer service organization that provides Montana with nearly 1,200 volunteers who will perform 70,000 service hours this year alone. Although Rehberg’s proposal cuts these jobs, Rehberg claims he “supports job creation and economic recovery.” [Rehberg House Website, 7/17/2012]

Rehberg goes so far as to call AmeriCorps “waste.”

“Congressman Dennis Rehberg thinks volunteer service and the jobs it supports is waste, yet he protects tax breaks and loopholes for millionaires like himself,” said Montanans for Tester spokesperson Aaron Murphy. “With wrong priorities like this, Congressman Rehberg isn’t looking out for Montana; he’s looking out for himself.”

Rehberg’s proposal also includes irresponsible cuts to education initiatives:

  • Elimination of School Improvement Grants: In the last two years Montana has received nearly $13 million to help turn around under-performing schools. The funds have recently benefited Frazer High School, Lame Deer High School, Lodge Grass High School, and Plenty Coups High School.
  • Elimination of “AP Test Free“: This initiative allows low-income students to take Advanced Placement tests by covering testing fees. A record number of Montana students took 2,800 AP tests last year. [KTVQ, 2/20/2012]

Rehberg is pushing his cuts as a news story story reports that Montana is in the bottom half of states when it comes to Children’s Well-Being.

Montanans spoke out against Rehberg’s previous attempts to defund AmeriCorps in 2011.

This isn’t the first time Congressman Rehberg turned his back on education.

In April of 2011, after voting for deep cuts to Pell Grants, Rehberg called the student financial aid “the welfare of the 21st century.” [Gannett News Service, 4/27/11]