Lincoln ripped on student loans | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lincoln ripped on student loans

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Moveon.org rips Sen. Blanche Lincoln for opposing changes to the student loan program that would save money, help students but, not incidentally, make it harder for bankers to profiteer at government expense.

Lincoln's campaign insists Moveon is wrong, but her own statement in opposition to the Obama reform legislation works against her and her response avoids addressing why she's fighting Obama.

MOVEON NEWS RELEASE

A new Web video released today by MoveOn.org Political Action accuses Senator Blanche Lincoln of selling out Arkansas students in order to bail out big banks that have backed her campaign. The video highlights Senator Lincoln’s opposition to President Obama’s plan to overhaul the student loan program, which would result in billions in savings and help 58,000 Arkansas students in the next year alone.


Senator Lincoln wrote a letter last week opposing efforts to pass President Obama's plan, siding with the Wall Street banks that stand to gain $87 billion in federal subsidies over the next ten years if Lincoln's efforts succeed.


A portion of the video script points out that, “Sen. Blanche Lincoln bailed out the banks, and now she wants to do it again. Who pays this time? Our kids. She is standing in the way of a historic education bill that will cut billions in bank subsidies and use the savings to help students pay for college. So why is Sen. Lincoln siding with Wall Street banks? Maybe because they've given her $372,000 dollars in campaign cash -- guess those bankers know a smart investment when they see one.


“I have six grandchildren – three who are heading off to college soon.  Increased access to financial aid would make a big difference to them, and to me. It is sad that their future isn’t as important to Senator Lincoln as bailing out the big banks,” said Georgia Pratt, a citizen of Springdale and a MoveOn member.


MoveOn's 20,000 members in Arkansas have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Lt. Governor Bill Halter, whose scholarship lottery is projected to help 28,000 Arkansas students next year, without raising taxes

LINCOLN CAMPAIGN RESPONSE

"Senator Lincoln is committed to student loan reform, and any claims to the contrary are false,” Lincoln campaign manager, Steve Patterson, said today.   “This is a politically motivated attack from a group operating outside of Arkansas that clearly doesn't understand the significant role Arkansas non-profits play in creating opportunity for students to attend college.  The Department of Education reports than more than 90 percent of Arkansas student loans are administered through the private sector.  The Senator has a long and consistent voting record in support of Pell Grants and student loans, including her vote in 2007 to reduce subsidies to private lenders and redirect those savings to students, and she has made clear in her public positions this year that she supports student loan reform that recognizes the important role of non-profit agencies that help facilitate financial aid to Arkansas students.”

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