Utah Congressman Jim Matheson spoke out today against his opponent Mia Love’s support for downsizing or abolishing the U-S Department of Education. The Democratic incumbent held a press conference at Salt Lake Community College.
Matheson brought along two University of Utah students to speak about the importance of college grants and loans, which come from the U-S Department of Education. The congressman told the crowd that if Mia Love had her way, those federal programs would cease to exist.
"This is a pretty radical proposal to say that we shouldn’t have financial aid for kids to go to college," he says.
Matheson added even Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan aren’t willing to back the plan.
"All I know is we voted on maintaining the lower student loan rates in congress this summer. Paul Ryan voted just the way I did to do that and governor Romney spoke out in support of the bill. So I would say they support subsidized student loans for students to go to school," he says.
Love’s campaign did not return calls for this story, but in a recent interview with KUER, Love said local and state officials should be making decisions about education.
"So I want to do everything I can to put the decision making back into the hands of the parents and the teachers. Because when you’ve got a one-size fit all federal government solution to education, it just doesn’t work," she says.
Matheson pointed out that Love herself accepted student loans to complete her education.