Senator Voted to Cut Pell Grants, Keep Interest Rates High, Tried to Eliminate Perkins, While Giving Tax Handouts to Millionaires
COLUMBUS — Down in recent polling and worried about his re-election odds, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is making a recent push to court Ohio college students. But, a look at Portman’s record reveals treats for millionaires paid for with tricks on Ohio students.
Portman voted to slash Pell Grants for more than 350,000 Ohio students – choosing to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires instead of helping Ohio’s working families afford college. [CQ, 3/9/11; H.R. 1, Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11]
As White House Budget Director in 2007, Portman proposed eliminating the Perkins Loan Program in the same budget he handed out tax cuts to millionaires and oil companies. [Office Of Management And Budget, February 2007; Associated Press, 2/5/07; New York Times, 1/8/07; Democratic Policy Committee, 5/7/07]
Portman voted against a bill to give Ohio working families and students two years of free Community College, once again to protect tax handouts for millionaires and billionaires instead. [CQ, 3/26/15; S. Con. Res. 11, Vote 100, 3/26/15]
Portman voted against a bill that could have saved more than one million Ohio students an average of $2,000 per loan by refinancing their interest rates. Why? You guessed it, to protect tax handouts for millionaires. [CQ, 6/11/14; S. 2432, Vote 185, 6/11/14; U.S. News & World Report, 8/26/14; Generation Progress, Accessed 8/24/15]
By contrast, Portman’s opponent, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland froze tuition his first year in office and kept tuition increases to the lowest rate of any state in the country during his term as Governor. Strickland made Ohio the first state to offer free college to veterans and boosted public university enrollment in Ohio by nearly 20 percent. Strickland also launched the “Seniors to Sophomores” program, which helped Ohio students earn college credit while still in high school at no cost them. [Ohio General Assembly, H.B. 199, Signed 6/30/07; Associated Press, 7/1/07; CollegeBoard, Accessed 5/8/15; University System Of Ohio, Headcount Enrollment, December 2014; Columbus Dispatch, 7/9/08; Chillicothe Gazette, 4/8/12]