The inclusion of the extra money for Pell Grants could cost Republican votes.
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) has compared Pell Grants to “welfare”.
"So you can go to college on Pell Grants — maybe I should not be telling anybody this because it’s turning out to be the welfare of the 21st century," Rehberg told Blog Talk Radio in April. "You can go to school, collect your Pell Grants, get food stamps, low-income energy assistance, Section 8 housing, and all of a sudden we find ourselves subsidizing people that don’t have to graduate from college.”
"Hmmm ... I could vote to save the country from economic ruination. But then poor people might go to college. I hate these tough, grueling political choices."
Meanwhile, word is that Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has flipped to "yes" on the Boehner plan. Flake had called the negotiations over this bill "refreshing" because nobody's children were threatened. Folks think Flake is exaggerating about the bad old days. Tell that to former Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI).
I have to admit, having basically resigned myself to debtpocalypse, I know find this whole charade to be uproariously funny. Boehner is killing himself to crawl across the finish line of a bill which stands no chance of ever becoming law. As Jon Chait points out, Republicans are delusional if they think this will ever pass. It is "like a kidnapper demanding for the release of your child $100,000 and your other child." It's a terrible plan, that will likely be made worse by whatever Boehner will have to do to wrangle those last couple extremist votes, and isn't going anywhere.