Rehberg: Pell Grants are ‘killing us’

A back-to-school warning from Montana’s out-of-touch Congressman

BILLINGS, Mont.—Congressman Dennis Rehberg has a warning for students of all ages returning to colleges, universities, trade schools this month: Your Pell Grant is on the chopping block.

As chairman of a congressional committee that oversees education funding, Rehberg last year voted to gut Pell Grants—financial assistance that serve 24,000 Montana students ever year.

“I don’t know if you guys follow Pell—it’s killing us,” Rehberg told a Washington crowd in late 2011.  “It’s going to eat up my education budget.” [Dennis Rehberg, ALL, 10/14/2011]

Earlier, Rehberg stirred up controversy by calling Pell Grants “the welfare of the 21st Century.”

Rehberg failed to protect Pell grants for Montana families, voting to cut the Grants by an average of $700 per student.  Rehberg did vote for his own pay raise five times and to protect tax loopholes for millionaires like himself.

“The fact Congressman Dennis Rehberg believes Pell Grants are welfare and that student financial aid is ‘killing us’ shows how out-of-touch he is after 12 years in Congress,” said Josh Olsen, Pell Grant recipient and University of Montana graduate. “Congressman Rehberg isn’t looking out for us; he’s looking out for himself.  That explains why he voted to give himself five pay raises in Congress while hurting Montana students.”

Rehberg went after education again in a recent spending proposal he introduced which eliminates critical grants to public schools facing the greatest challenges, allows teachers who have not completed necessary training to return to school, and makes it easier for for-profit colleges to take advantage of veterans receiving financial aid.