U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R) of Arkansas recently attacked Pell Grants, voting to cut the program in order to avoid a government shutdown.
A constituent, student Kelly Eubanks of Fayetteville, asked why he was doing this. According to a blog post at Blue Arkansas:
Kelly works two jobs to support her two kids and is trying to finish up her degree, going to UofA in Fayetteville full time in addition to taking care of her family and working. She went to her Congressman’s town hall (something Womack rarely holds) to ask why he voted to cut the Pell grants she depends on to go to school but wouldn’t cut oil subsidies.
Womack didn’t answer the question. He responded that it wasn’t the government’s responsibility to pay for education. He pointed out that he paid for college by joining the military.
Here’s a local news report about the exchange. Eubanks appears at 1:00:
It’s worth pointing out here that if one joins the military and uses that to pay for college, the government is still paying for college. It’s just paying using a different program.
The congressman graduated from Arkansas Tech University. This is a public college, which means the government (albeit Arkansas in this case) also paid for it.