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Blue Dogs Call for Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to Expand Broadband Internet Access

May 21, 2019 by Dan McCue
Giant rolls holding fiber optic cable are stored at a Lake Connections construction yard, waiting to be installed as a part of a broadband project in northern Minnesota, July 31, 2012. By the time the communications project is done in 2014 around 2000 miles of fiber optic cable will be strung, connecting customers with broadband internet, video and telephone service. (Bruce Bisping/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

Representatives Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., and Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., co-chairs of the Blue Dog Task Force on Infrastructure and Job Creation, joined with Representatives Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M., their counterparts on the Blue Dog Task Force on Rural Opportunity, Tuesday to call for bipartisan legislation to expand high-speed broadband internet “to all corners of our nation.”

At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the Blue Dog Coalition was the first caucus to send a letter to Democratic leadership calling on them to prioritize infrastructure legislation.

In a joint op-ed in Fox News Opinion the representatives called on both parties to advance legislation that not only fixes our nation’s already-existing, crumbling infrastructure, but also expands broadband internet, particularly to rural and tribal communities.

“Throughout our history, both Republicans and Democrats have recognized that innovation spurs the need to expand new infrastructure to rural America, which has allowed our country to remain at the cutting edge of international competition,” the representatives wrote.

As examples, they cited President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s expansion of electricity to rural communities in the 1930s, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signing of the Federal Aid-Highway Act in the 1950s, a decision that led to the construction of the nation’s interstate highway system.

“Our nation has reached another crossroad where innovation requires the expansion of a new form of infrastructure: high-speed broadband internet,” the representatives wrote.

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