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“YES” on H.R. 1343, which would address unused or reclaimed funds made available for broadband awards in the 2009 stimulus bill.
October 5, 2011
NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 1343, which would address unused or reclaimed funds made available for broadband awards in the 2009 stimulus bill. Introduced by Rep. Bass (R-NH), this bill will protect taxpayers by terminating poorly performing or wasteful broadband projects and ensuring the return of those funds to the Treasury.
Despite the Rural Utilities Service’s and National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s questionable history of oversight and a lack of experience in handling a project of this size, the stimulus bill included $7.2 billion for broadband programs to be administered by those two agencies. Unsurprisingly, numerous investigations and studies have revealed that both of these entities lacked sufficient stewardship capabilities, engaged in inefficient uses of taxpayer money, and strayed considerably from their goals of reaching underserved communities.
NTU has long stated its concern that federal involvement in the expansion of broadband Internet service would inevitably lead to market distortions that force higher costs for consumers and heavier burdens for taxpayers. Although H.R. 1343 represents only a single step toward eliminating the government’s network of harmful subsidies, its mechanisms for identifying and returning wasted broadband stimulus funds constitute long overdue progress on reform.
Roll call votes on H.R. 1343 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Government Affairs Manager Brandon Greife at (703) 683-5700