Cassidy Refuses to Support Sen. Landrieu’s “Passport to the Middle Class” Initiative

Recent graduate Ryan King speaks about Sen. Landrieu’s “Passport to the Middle Class” initiative. 

LAFAYETTE – Today, college students and recent graduates condemned Congressman Bill Cassidy’s votes to cut more than $100 billion in Pell Grants and increase interest rates on student loans by $54 billion.

“I want to know why Congressman Cassidy is so strongly opposed to the idea of increasing aid for college students,” said Ryan King, a recent University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate. “It is absolutely outrageous and short-sighted for Congressman Cassidy to support policies that saddle college graduates like me with so much debt.”

Cassidy’s votes add to the pain for Louisiana students and families, who are already struggling because Gov. Bobby Jindal has slashed higher education funding by nearly $700 million — more than any other state in the nation. State college tuitions and associated expenses have climbed almost 40 percent in the last six years.“I know people who ruled out college or were unable to attend because of the high costs,” said Brittany Long, a current senior at UL Lafayette. “Senator Landrieu is working hard to make it easier for people like me and my peers to do well in college, without worrying so much about whether or not our families can afford another semester.”

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s “Passport to the Middle Class” initiative would increase the maximum Pell Grant award for students on college financial aid and allow students to refinance federal loans at a lower rate, benefiting nearly 600,000 Louisianians.“Congressman Cassidy’s votes are really scary for me and my family because tuition and other expenses at UL Lafayette have increased a lot in the last few years,” said Kris Harrison, a current freshman at UL Lafayette. “I don’t ever want to be in a position where I have to discontinue or take time off from school because I just can’t afford it.”