Outrage of the Week Bob Menendez: Roadblock for Young Americans seeking Higher Education

Press Release

By:  Joe Kyrillos, Jr.
Date: Aug. 22, 2012
Location: Middletown, NJ

As the summer draws to a close, students across the country are getting ready to head off to college. For many this will be the time of their life, filled with promise and opportunity. But for some middle class families, the sluggish economy and increased tuition costs has made sending their children to college nearly impossible. By voting against college tuition tax credits and education savings accounts for middle class families, so has Bob Menendez --- at least four times.

Bob Menendez has again been caught hurting the same middle class families he pretends to fight for begging the question "who was he fighting for when he voted against making college more affordable for middle class families?' The answer: The special interest teachers union.

According to the FEC, leading up to and following his votes making college less affordable for middle class families, Bob Menendez was given nearly $10,000 in campaign cash from the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers --- in one instance just four days after his vote. For trading our children's college education to do the bidding of the special interests, Bob Menendez has earned the outrage of the week.

"It's outrageous that Bob Menendez put political interests ahead of our children's future in some smoke filled backroom political deal with the teachers union," said Kyrillos Campaign Manager Chapin Fay.

"Rather than making college affordable, Bob Menendez himself became the roadblock for young Americans seeking higher education and hurting hardworking middle class families who struggle to pay the difference. Clearly, Bob Menendez ain't fighting for the middle class."

Background:

Menendez voted against the Hope Tax Credit

The Hope Tax Credit provided a credit of up to up to $1,650 on first two years of post-secondary education and specifically targeted the middle class by placing an income threshold on eligibility.
(HR 2014, Vote #245 6/26/1997, Menendez voted Nay)

Menendez voted against the Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit provided a tax credit of 20% on first $10,000 of qualified education expenses and specifically targeted the middle class by placing an income threshold on eligibility.
(HR 2014, Vote #245 6/26/1997, Menendez voted Nay)

**Both the Hope Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit were popular by both sides of the aisle and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Menendez voted against Education Savings Accounts

The bill would have increased the amount parents could put in a special tax-deductible account each year to be put towards paying for elementary, secondary, or college education. This measure would have strongly encouraged parents to save long-term for their children's education. (HR 2014, Vote #245 6/26/1997, Menendez voted Nay)

Menendez voted against the Low Income Education Scholarship

The Low Income Education Scholarship Amendment would have established a $7 million scholarship program for children in low income families (H. Amdt. 874, Vote #411, 8/6/1998, Menendez voted Nay)

Leading up to and following Menendez' votes against affordable college education, Menendez received nearly $10,000 in donations from teachers unions:

4/24/1997- $500.00 from the National Education Association
10/6/1997- $500.00 from the National Education Association
10/27/1997- $500.00 from American Federation of Teachers
2/26/1998- $500.00 from the American Federation of Teachers
4/29/1998- $500.00 from National Education Association
9/22/1998- $2,000 from National Education Association
10/7/1998- $4,000 from National Education Association

(Source: FEC.gov, accessed 8/21/12)