House Democrats Urge Biden to Permanently Close Digital Divide
WASHINGTON – House Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to permanently close the nation’s digital divide by targeting federal investments in broadband to the hardest to reach areas, while also providing a permanent, federally-funded broadband benefit program to financially vulnerable families.
The effort is being spearheaded by Reps. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., who led nearly 120 of their colleagues in signing a letter to Biden, explaining their position.
“Millions of Americans lack access to the internet. Some don’t have access due to lack of broadband infrastructure in their communities, while others simply cannot afford it,” Butterfield said.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of broadband connectivity for all Americans. In order to provide equal opportunity for all Americans, a permanent broadband benefit is a crucial step to finally close the digital divide,” he added.
Cárdenas noted that the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program has given many Americans the opportunity to get connected to internet service for the first time.
“It’s past time we implement permanent solutions that ensure low-income families and communities of color have continued access to the health, educational and economic benefits of the online world,” he said.
Without access to broadband service, millions of Americans are unable to participate in remote learning, working, telehealth and other essential activities.
Smart investments in broadband infrastructure and a federally funded permanent broadband program to help financially vulnerable families purchase broadband service will close the digital divide, the letter writers said.
“Students and workers need high-speed, reliable internet access – and it needs to be affordable,” Peters said. “We should take the lessons we learned from the pandemic and apply them to our post-pandemic efforts to lower costs for broadband access. For our country to realize our 21st-century potential, we must ensure low-income communities can afford high-quality connectivity.”
Rice agreed, saying one thing the coronavirus pandemic made abundantly clear is that good Internet access is not a luxury, but necessity.
“That is why the government should consider investing in a permanent broadband benefit program to ensure more American families get connected and fully participate in the modern economy”
To view the letter that was sent, click here.
In The News
WASHINGTON — Before leaving town for Thanksgiving, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, joined members of the Problem... Read More
WASHINGTON — Before leaving town for Thanksgiving, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, joined members of the Problem Solvers Caucus to call for fully funding the CHIPS for America Act, an initiative intended to increase semiconductor production in the United States. Their message, simply... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — It took half a year but Democrats have driven President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion package of social... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — It took half a year but Democrats have driven President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion package of social and climate initiatives through the House. It gets no easier in the Senate, where painful Republican amendments, restrictive rules and Joe Manchin lurk. Facing unbroken GOP opposition, Democrats... Read More
SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced on Monday that he plans to join the Republican primary field for... Read More
SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, announced on Monday that he plans to join the Republican primary field for Texas attorney general in a bid to oust incumbent Ken Paxton. Gohmert, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2005, was previously elected state... Read More
WASHINGTON - The speaker was anguished, there wasn’t any mistaking that. “Maybe I was just too caught up in my... Read More
WASHINGTON - The speaker was anguished, there wasn’t any mistaking that. “Maybe I was just too caught up in my own life to realize what was going on with my friends and acquaintances,” he said. “But there’s nothing wrong with unfriending somebody. Couples break up all... Read More
WASHINGTON — Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is free to rent the email list compiled by his principal campaign committee, Schiff... Read More
WASHINGTON — Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is free to rent the email list compiled by his principal campaign committee, Schiff for Congress, to promote his new memoir, “Midnight in Washington,” the Federal Election Commission said in an advisory opinion announced Wednesday. Random House, a division of... Read More
WASHINGTON — Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress after nearly three decades in office, bringing to 16... Read More
WASHINGTON — Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress after nearly three decades in office, bringing to 16 the number of Democrats who are bowing out before the 2022 election. Johnson, a trailblazer her whole life, was the first Black woman elected to public... Read More