U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (MO.) released a letter he sent with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (KS) and nine of their colleagues to raise concerns with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen regarding the recently-announced final rule for broadband infrastructure funding through the Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Funds, and to urge the secretary to ensure broadband funding focuses on unserved areas throughout the country.
“As you know, the authority provided by Congress to Treasury to make investments in broadband infrastructure was born out of the challenges posed by the pandemic, when much of daily life was forced online and when consumers lacking internet access faced even greater economic and personal hardship,” the senators wrote. “Because of the importance of addressing these needs, we are profoundly disappointed that Treasury’s final rule lacks the proper guidance and constraints needed to ensure that federal funds are used efficiently and for their intended purpose. As history has demonstrated, absent such constraint, there remains a significant risk that taxpayer money will be wasted in areas where broadband infrastructure already exists and those without access to quality broadband service will not receive the full measure of needed assistance.”
In addition to Blunt and Moran, the letter is signed by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (MS), John Thune (SD), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Ted Cruz (TX), Deb Fischer (NB), Thom Tillis (NC), Richard Burr (NC), and Susan Collins (ME).