Democrat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is back doing what she does best: launching highly partisan attacks over an issue that should be bi-partisan. Sen. Murray is promoting a “new tool aimed at collecting stories about the difficulties of getting through college at a time when student debt is on the rise.”
The tool is meant to help the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, chaired by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn), work on reauthorizing and amending the federal Higher Education Act. Reforms could include “changes to financial aid forms and to the Pell Grant program.”
But, Murray is promoting the tool by insisting she wants to use it to “keep pressure on Republicans” to make college more affordable.
Here’s the problem with Murray very, very flawed logic: It’s not Republicans who have made college unaffordable.
Democrats have a long history of using college tuition as a cash cow for their big government spending priorities in Washington State, dating back to when Murray was a state legislator in early 1990’s.
For more than a decade, Democrats have used college tuition hikes, essentially a tax on the middle class, as a cash cow to help transfer taxpayer money to their special interest allies and key campaign donors. Under Democrat leadership in the Legislature, students pursuing higher education have faced an exponential growth in tuition rates— budget after budget has leeched off students, and their families, in order to pay for the Democrats’ bigger-government agenda.
Making matters worse, Democrats showed a complete lack of concern for reversing the mess they created. Democrats fought against Republicans’ efforts to lighten the college tuition burden. Instead, they chose only to trumpet support for higher education when it suited their interests.
Last year, Democrats proved, once again, that their priorities lie with special interests and not working families when half of the state Senate Democrats voted against lowering tuition. Democrat Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe went so far as to urge fellow Democrats to “reject any bill which would reduce tuition [for any program].”
Democrats did not support Republicans’ College Affordability Program because—surprise, surprise—the special interest groups that fund their campaigns, and in McAuliffe’s case, helped retire a campaign debt to herself, did not. It is only due to the tireless efforts of Republicans that, ultimately, a bill passed that helped start to reverse the heavy burden Democrats have placed on middle class families for decades.
If Murray’s truly prioritizes making college more affordable, perhaps she should concern herself with keeping the pressure on members of her own party.