House Democrats today unveiled a $1 trillion infrastructure investment proposal that could be used for broadband projects, along with more traditional transportation, water, electric, and school projects, according to Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair David Cicilline (D., R.I.).
“Our plan will ensure projects advance quickly, while maintaining key environmental protections and labor standards,” Democrats said in a fact sheet on their proposal.
The proposed funding is “five times larger” than that in “President Trump’s rumored plan that has yet to be released,” they added.
In his State of the Union address, President Trump called for an infrastructure bill that would leverage federal funding to “generate” at least $1.5 trillion for new infrastructure investment. While he did not mention broadband among the types of projects to be funded, a White House fact sheet on the subject did (TR Daily, Jan. 31).
In a “fact check” released while the president was delivering the State of the Union address, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) pointed to recent media reports that the federal spending under the plan would only be $200 million over 10 years, with the other $1.3 trillion to come from states, localities, and the private sector.
Regarding high-speed Internet specifically, the House Democrats said today, “Democrats understand that access to quality, affordable high-speed internet is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity for 21st century commerce, education, telemedicine and public safety. High-speed internet can unlock communities’ full economic potential, help rural areas attract new employers, improve health care outcomes and help students succeed. We will close the rural-urban divide and build out high-speed broadband in unserved and underserved areas in both rural communities and large cities.”
During today’s press conference to unveil the House Democrats’ “A Better Deal” proposal, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D., N.J.), the ranking minority member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, “Our A Better Deal to Rebuild America invests in America’s future — a future that will increasingly rely on high-speed internet. High-speed broadband means stronger small businesses, more jobs and a powerful economy. It’s time to connect the rural and urban areas that have been left behind.” —Lynn Stanton, [email protected]
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