Letter: Hagedorn needs to stand against education cuts

Published 6:14 am Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I attended a town hall meeting that Rep. Hagedorn held in Austin on Wednesday, Nov. 6. I was lucky enough to have my question read. I asked if he supported Trump’s proposed cuts to the Education Department. Specifically, the proposed 2020 budget calls for elimination of loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, eliminating subsidized student loans, which accrue no interest as long as the student is in school, cutting the budget for the Education Department by 12 percent from 2019, and pulling out “$2 billion from the reserves for the Pell Grant program …[which] could jeopardize the grant program in the future,” according to the Washington Post.

Mr. Hagedorn laughed at my concerns about the proposed cuts in the budget, dismissing them and saying none of it would happen and “none of it matters.” He proceeded to say if it happens that I should call him and yell at him about it, except if I were to have to call him it would be too late and he would just dismiss me again.

I would like to take his statement a step further. Instead of allowing cuts like that to ever happen, I would like Mr. Hagedorn’s pledge that he will vote against any bill that contains any cuts to higher education. And instead of me calling and yelling at him, I would like his constituents to pledge to call, email, and show up if he supports any bill that contains cuts to the student loan program or Pell Grants.

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He considered the possibility laughable. I would like to hold him accountable to that.

Emily Iseli

Austin, MN

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