avoid a government shutdown at the end of 2011, Republicans succeeded in their campaign to cut the federal Pell Grant program by effectively kicking up to 100,000 low-income students off the rolls.
Last week, Arkansas constituent Kelly Eubanks, a college student who has two jobs and two children, confronted her Congressman, Rep. Steve Womack (R), at a town hall meeting over his attack on the program she now relies on. But instead of any explanation, Womack lashed out at Eubanks, telling her to pay her own way by “joining the military” like he did. After refusing to answer her question, he finally just asked her to “be quiet and listen.” Blue Arkansas reports:
According to Kelly and a handful of other witnesses, Womack happily retorted that it wasn’t the federal government’s job to pay for education (he’s doing this in a college town mind you) and then quickly added that he paid for his education by joining the military, apparently suggesting that the mom of two do the same and totally oblivious I guess to the fact that it was, in fact, the federal government that paid for his education then. Well Womack tried to skirt the rest of Ms. Eubanks question and she proceeded to try and get him to address the discrepancy she pointed out. Well at this point, according to Kelly and several other people that were in the room, Womack blew a gasket.
He skirted the rest of my question and I called him out on it.. he ended up getting pissed off.. and screaming at me.. “are you going to be quiet and listen”, [Eubanks said.]
According to Kelly, some of his aides came up and tried to get the mike from her, but she held her ground and kept her cool, insisting her congressman answer her question.
Watch KHBS news coverage of the town hall:
The irony here, as Campus Progress’ Emily Wood notes, is that Womack actually attended college on taxpayer money by joining the National Guard. But instead of acknowledging that fact, he dodged the issue and had the mike taken away from Eubanks. Eubanks attended the town hall with the hopes of understanding Womack’s view. “I thought maybe meeting him and asking him why he’d vote to hurt students but protect Big Oil interests, face to face, would get me a real answer,” she told the Arkansas Times. “I really thought maybe he could explain it somehow. I did not think he was a heartless or arrogant person going in to this, but I definitely do now.”
New York Federal Reserve Estimates 3.6 Million Foreclosures Will Occur In The Next Two Years | While foreclosure rates hit a four-year low in 2011, the early signs for 2012 don’t look good when it comes to housing, as banks have begun to work through a backlog of foreclosures that were delayed by the foreclosure fraud scandal. In fact, the New York Federal Reserve anticipates that 3.6 million foreclosures will occur in the next two years, piling on to the 1 million in 2010 and the 800,000 last year. “The ongoing weakness in housing has made it more difficult to achieve a vigorous economic recovery,” said New York Fed President William Dudley. “Housing has inhibited economic activity through a number of channels.” (HT: Realty Biz News)