Today, the NRSC is pushing local news coverage of Senator Rob Portman’s support for the re-authorization of the Federal Perkins loan program. Since its expiration in October, hundreds of colleges have lobbied Congress to restore the financial assistance program, and Portman jumped at the chance to cash in on the frenzy. Previously, Portman has been an obstacle to students hoping to fund their education with the program.
During his time as President George W. Bush’s OMB director in 2006 and 2007, Portman oversaw the 2008 federal budget that attempted to completely eliminate the Perkins loan program.
In addition to opposing the Perkins loan during his time with the Bush administration, Portman voted against a proposal that would relieve student debt by allowing students to refinance their loans. The student debt crisis is considered by many economists as the next “bubble” that will burst and cause serious problems for America’s economy. However, Sen. Portman has been inconsistent in his position on important relief for Ohio students and families.
According to the Northeast Ohio Media Group,
In the 2013-14 school year, 25,472 students in Ohio got Perkins loans, totaling $47.7 million, according to information from the U.S. Department of Education that former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a supporter of the program and a candidate for U.S. Senate, provided to the press. This included loans to 508 students at Cleveland State, 1,528 at Case Western Reserve and 1,725 at Ohio State.
TL;DR: Ohioans can’t trust Portman to look out for their best interests when it comes to funding higher education.