Senator Ernst Can’t Hide From Her Radical Record of Fighting Against Student Loan Relief and Pell Grants Expansions, Enabling Betsy DeVos’ Gutting of Public Education
Facing plunging poll numbers and ranked as the third-most unpopular senator in the country, endangered Senator Joni Ernst is doing everything she can to erase her yearslong record chock-full of voting against Iowa’s higher education. But no amount of election-year flip flops can fool voters on her half-decade of putting her party leaders and special interests above Iowa students in Washington.
Even as the Iowa universities are forced to scrape by and loan debt acts as an “ominous black cloud” preventing Iowa students from affording college, Ernst has repeatedly opposed student debt relief, rejected Pell Grant expansions, and stood by as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos works to gut public education. All the while, the average Iowa student graduates with nearly $30,000 in student loan debt – inhibiting them from opening businesses and purchasing homes, and holding back rural communities.
No election-year flip flop can hide Senator Ernst’s radical record of failing Iowa students:
- Ernst voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education, despite widespread outcry from educators, students, and parents over her plans to privatize and gut public education.
- Ernst campaigned on “closing the doors” on the Department of Education and eliminating federal student loans.
- Ernst has said that “we can’t help” students loan rates, before voting against legislation to allow students to refinance their outstanding debt.
- Ernst has consistently opposed expanding Pell Grants for Iowa students:
- Voted against an $89 billion increase in Pell Grant funding.
- Broke with two-thirds of the Senate by voting against raising the maximum Pell Grant to $6,095.
- Was one of only 18 senators to vote against a bill restoring year-round Pell Grants