Allen can't duck failed higher education record
Richmond,VA—While his campaign has spoken generically on the issue, former Senator George Allen has refused to support a proposal that would prevent federal student loan rates from doubling on July 1st and pay for it by eliminating taxpayer handouts to profitable oil and gas companies.
Allen's refusal to stand tall and tell Virginia students and their families how they can expect him to vote on issues as critical as keeping student loan rates low is part of a much larger tendency throughout his reelection campaign to duck and dodge specifics on big issues. When it comes to support for higher education and the students seeking it, Allen's dismal record may offer Virginians a clue as to how he'd vote on these issues if he winds up back in the Senate.
During Allen's tenure in the Senate public college and university tuition rose by 40% -- but that didn't stop him from voting for the largest student loan cut in U.S. history. He voted against an amendment that would have kept 84,000 students from losing their eligibility for Pell grants, even as multiple Republican Senators voted the other way.
In fact, this is not even the first time Allen has refused to put support for college students ahead of giveaways for big oil and gas. In 2004 Allen voted for a bill that protected billions in tax breaks for big oil while eliminating a tuition tax deduction for middle class families.
As Governor, Allen sought to pay for a huge tax cut by slashing higher education along with police and key programs like "Meals on Wheels" for Virginia seniors. The proposal was so draconian that a bipartisan group of former governors and businesspeople from around Virginia formed to oppose and eventually defeat it.
"George Allen may not want to talk specifics about the upcoming student loan rate increase that will make getting a college education more difficult for many students, but his record speaks volumes about where he stands on support for Virginian students and their families" said DPVA Executive Director David Mills.
"From voting for record cuts in student loans as public college tuition rose by 40%, to trying to pay for tax cuts on the backs of Virginia students, George Allen has spent his career turning his back on higher education and the pivotal role it plays in a healthy economy. Virginia students and their families can't afford the risk that Allen will go back to Washington and be the same old George he's always been."