April 13, 2020

Congressional Resources

Committees that Deal with Broadband Issues

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

House Committee on Energy and Commerce

In addition, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Financial Services and General Government have jurisdiction over appropriations for the Federal Communications Commission, the primary agency within the Executive Branch dealing with Broadband access.

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government

Check to see if your Members of Congress sit on any of these committees.

Legislation That Has Been Enacted This Congress

S. 1822 (Pub.L. 116-130, signed int law on March 23, 2020)

o    Legislative Status of bill  -- Check here to see if your Members of Congress voted for the bill.

o   Senate Report

o   Statement by Joe Manchin (D-WV)

o   Statement by Senator Wicker (R-MS) on broadband mapping

CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Pub. L. 116-136, signed into law on March 27, 2020).

o   Legislative History

o   Summary: The new statute provides a total of $ 125 million for broadband services.  It confers authority on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into agreements with telecommunications companies to provide broadband for veterans for tele-mental health care.  Twenty-five million dollars is provided to improve distance learning and telemedicine in rural areas of America.  An additional $100 million is provided to the government’s ReConnect program to increase broadband access in rural communities where at least 90% of households do not have adequate broadband.  

o   The relevant provisions of the law, as passed, are SEC. 11004 and SEC. 20004. 

Other Legislation of Interest:

·         S. 1046 and H.R. 1328 – Access Broadband Act

·         S. 2275 and H.R. 4024 – Broadband Transparency and Accountability Act of 2019

·         S. 1485 and H.R. 4128 – Map Improvement Act of 2019

There are numerous other bills that seek to make broadband more accessible and affordable for every American. You can research these bills by going to Congress.gov.

FY 2021 Appropriations

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government

o   March 10 Hearing

o   Witness Statements:

The Honorable Ajit Pai

The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel

The Honorable Geoffrey Starks

The Honorable Brendan Carr

CRS Report

Broadband Deployment: Status and Federal Programs, June 2019