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Letter to the Editor: A response to Gary Livingston on Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Easterner, its staff members or Eastern Washington University.

By Francisco Flores, Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor,

I am writing to respond to Gary Livingston’s article (Opinion, Oct. 24).

Gary Livingston wrote that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has supported cutting student grants and raising interest rates. That is not true.

McMorris Rodgers has consistently voted to robustly fund Pell Grants and she co-sponsored legislation to extend funding for the Perkins Loan program, offering low-income based loans. McMorris Rodgers voted to cap student interest rates (HR1911), and last year she successfully opposed a proposal to make student financial aid taxable. She also led on passage of legislation to improve access to financial counseling to help students and their families.

Surely  Livingston knows that funding for public colleges is primarily a role of state government. The fact is that Lisa Brown has repeatedly failed to support higher education. While she was state Senate majority leader, she oversaw substantial cuts to college funding, leading to massive increases in EWU college tuition, from just over $4,000 per year in 2005-6 to $7,372 in 2012-13 (resident undergraduate). How in the world did that “increase access” for students?

Brown’s defense has been that cuts were needed because of an economic recession. However, it was her choice that college students should pay a disproportionate burden of the cost, while she prioritized other government spending. Only after Brown left the Senate, other state legislators chose to freeze and then cut college tuition costs.

Brown is absolutely not an advocate for college students.

 

Sincerely,

Francisco Flores

 

Francisco Flores is a senior at EWU studying international affairs and anthropology.

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Letter to the Editor: A response to Gary Livingston on Cathy McMorris Rodgers