Sen. Grassley introduces new broadband bill-- “Assisting Broadband Connectivity Act”
Senator Chuck Grassley introduced a rural broadband bill that has bipartisan support. He worked with Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar on the “Assisting Broadband Connectivity Act.”
It would change USDA’s broadband programs so communities can receive federal funding more than once. Sen. Grassley says that it is an issue he hears often back home in Iowa.
“So far this year, I’ve met with Iowans in 85 of the 99 counties and you might not believe it, but the issue of rural broadband has come up at nearly every one of those 85 meetings,” Grassley states. “Completing these projects, in every corner of the state, is very critical infrastructure to people’s lives and livelihoods. Broadband will help boost economic development and job creation in rural areas.”
If passed the legislation would also allow states to use leftover federal funds, live COVID aid, for broadband.
It comes as the House Ag Committee prepares to vote today on its own rural broadband measure.
Committee chairman David Scott introduced the bill that would allocate $50 billion dollars to internet infrastructure. The Ag Committee has a long history of bipartisanship, but Scott’s bill has no co-sponsors.
The price tag is seven times more than committee Republicans wanted and their bill has no Democratic co-sponsor.