FACT CHECK: Portman Puts Washington Politics First, Not Ohio Students

In response to Sen. Rob Portman’s latest attempt yesterday to mislead Ohioans about his record of slashing support for college students and their families, Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick issued the following statement:

“Senator Portman is making it more expensive and harder for working people to get the education they need to get a good-paying job — now he’s misleading Ohioans about his record of stacking the deck against middle-class students and their families. In Washington, Senator Portman puts his own self-interested politics and what’s good for other millionaires first, but Ohioans who want a good education are paying the price.”

See for yourself:

2007: As OMB Director, Portman Proposed Eliminating The Perkins Loan Program Which Provided Vital Support for Students. “Eligible Perkins loans would continue to be cancelled but no appropriations would be made to replenish the institutional revolving funds. This program termination is coupled with the Budget’s proposal to eliminate the Perkins loan program and recall the Federal portion of these revolving funds.” [Office Of Management and Budget, February 2007]

2011: Portman Voted For Largest Pell Grant Cut In Program’s History. In 2011, Portman voted for the FY 2012 Ryan Budget. According to Mark Kantrowitz’s analysis of the budget, “The proposed cut in the maximum Pell Grant will be the largest cut in student aid funding in the history of the Pell Grant program. This proposal will cause more than a million students to lose eligibility for the Pell Grant.” [Vote 77, 5/25/11; Huffington Post, Mark Kantrowitz Op-Ed, 5/25/11]

June 2014: Portman Voted To Kill Legislation Allowing Students To Refinance Their Federal Student Loans. In June 2014, Portman voted against: “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed the bill that would allow eligible borrowers who took out student loans prior to July 1, 2013 to refinance those loans to rates offered to new borrowers. It would be offset by increasing taxes on those who earn more than $1 million a year.” The motion failed, 56-38. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 1.1 million Ohioans would benefit from student loan refinancing. [CQ, 6/11/14; S. 2432, Vote 185, 6/11/14; U.S. Department of Education, 2014]

1996: Portman Voted Against Amendment Increasing Funding For The Perkins Loan Program By $93 Million. In July 1996, Portman voted against: “Obey, D-Wis., amendment to add $1.2 billion to the bill’s funding for education and training programs, including an increase of $100 million to the $1.1 billion provided for Dislocated Worker Training, $25 million to the $625 million provided for Summer Youth Training, $70 million to the $3.6 billion provided for Head Start, $450 million to the $7.2 billion provided for Title I, $25 million to the $441 million provided for Safe and Drug Free Schools. The amendment would also provide money to several programs not funded under the bill, including providing $233 million for Eisenhower Teacher Training, $93 million for Perkins Loans, and $250 million for Goals 2000. The amendment would offset these increases by drawing from forward funding for education for the disadvantaged.” The amendment failed, 198-227. [CQ, 7/11/96; H.R. 3755, Vote 303, 7/11/96]