Millionaire Congressman Rehberg compares Pell Grants to welfare... again

Millionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg compared Pell Grants to welfare yet again today, but students and hardworking families across Montana still aren't buying his out-of-touch explanation.

Last month, after voting to gut Pell Grants altogether, Rehberg called Pell Grants the "welfare of the 21st Century." After angering Montanans across the state, he's now trying to tell us that he's "working so hard" to keep Pell Grants.

"Career politicians like Dennis Rehberg are good at telling people what they want to hear, but Montanans know better than that," said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.  "Dennis Rehberg has a long history of claiming he supports things he votes against.  But what we really want to hear from Dennis Rehberg is how he's working so hard to keep Pell Grants.  Montanans deserve more than talking points; we deserve answers."

Last week, Rehberg, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, told Montanans he is "cash poor" and "struggling like everyone else."

"Dennis Rehberg is so far out of touch with reality that he can't help but keep comparing Pell Grants to welfare," Dick added.

More on Congressman Rehberg's record of attacking Pell Grants:

The only education initiative Congressman Rehberg supported this year ONLY benefited students in Washington DC. In March, Congressman Rehberg voted for an experimental school vouchers bill that will cost $300 million, and only goes to benefit students  who live in Washington DC [Congressional Budget Office, 3/14/11; H.R.1, House Vote HR 471, 3/30/11].

More background on Congressman Rehberg’s recent decisions to roll back Pell Grants:

Rehberg Voted to Make 1.7 Million Students Receiving PellGrants Ineligible for Aid. As reported by U.S. News & World Report, “The changes would take effect for the 2011-12 school year, decreasing the maximum amount of aid for the most needy students from $5,550 to $4,705, a difference of $845. Plus, about 1.7 million students who receive smaller Pell Grants would become ineligible for the program.” [U.S. News & World Report, 3/2/11]

Rehberg Voted for Bill to Cut PellGrants By About $800 Per Student. As reported by NBC Montana, “Affording that degree could be harder with a 15% cut to Pell Grant funding. The maximum students can receive from the grant right now is $5,550 a year. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, HR 1, last month that would cut the award amount by about $800.” [H.R.1, House Vote #147, 2/19/11; NBC Montana, 3/7/11]

Montana Will Lose $15 Million in Pell Grant Funding Under Rehberg Plan. As reported by The Missoulian, “In Montana, 24,000 students are scheduled to receive a Pell grant next year. Should the House spending plan become law, the state will lose $15 million in Pellfunding, a cut from $73 million to $58 million.” [The Missoulian, 3/8/11]



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