27 Democratic senators call for increase in Lifeline funding

A group of 27 US senators urged Congress for a $1 billion increase in funding for the Lifeline program in a future coronavirus relief legislation. “Social distancing, school closures, layoffs, and shelter-in-place rules have spurred a dramatic new reliance on telework, distance education, online employment, and telehealth. No one should have to put their health at risk, lose employment, lose access to education, or face isolation because they cannot afford broadband,” said the Senators. 

The federal Lifeline program provides a modest $9.25/month subsidy to low-income households to help pay for communications services. CWA has long supported the Lifeline program and urged the FCC to modernize the program to include broadband, which the Commission did in 2016. The additional funding aims to improve the Lifeline program’s level of service, advertisement, application process, to increase eligible broadband providers, and to meet the increase in demand. 

The letter was also signed by US Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Links:

Letter from 27 Democratic Senators on increasing Lifeline funding (US Congress, Apr. 14, 2020)