Conservatives are Holding Pell Grants Hostage in Debt Talks: Take Action Now to #SavePell
It seems that Congress has been using Pell grants as leverage in the debt ceiling negotiations – and this cynical strategy is not working. Last night, as the prospect of a vote on Speaker Boehner’s plan seemed imminent, it was revealed that several conservative members were angry about Boehner’s decision to include $17 billion in supplemental Pell grant funding in his plan.
From The Hill:
“Legislation crafted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to raise the debt limit by $900 billion would directly appropriate $9 billion for Pell Grants in 2012 and another $8 billion in 2013. This has shocked some conservative House freshmen who say they were elected to cut spending, not increase it. Some House Republicans think of it as being akin to welfare.
‘I really don’t understand why we’re increasing spending in a bill supposed to be cutting spending,” said Rep. Andy Harris, a freshman Republican from Maryland. “It was negotiated without the input of a lot of members.’
Insiders say that this was an attempt by the Speaker to lure less conservative members to his side and garner votes for his bill, but instead it seems to have backfired. Late last night the Speaker announced that there would be no vote…with several Tea Party members defecting, he just didn’t have the numbers on his side.
As talks resume today, your representatives need to hear from you.They are all under a lot of pressure to make a deal but we cannot allow the Pell grant to become collateral damage.
Take action now and sign this petition on Change.org demanding that we #SavePell. Click here to sign the petition.
You can also use this tweet as a model:
URGENT ACTION: Tell The GOP that Pell Grants Are NOT Welfare http://bit.ly/reBIjN #SavePell
Katie is the Communications and Outreach Manager for Campus Progress.