Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced a bill to spend at least $85 billion on infrastructure upgrades. If passed, the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT, would devote some $40 billion over five years to deploy secure and resilient broadband nationwide.
According to H.R. 2479, three quarters of this funding will be used to deploy broadband in unserved areas of the country through a national reverse auction. The remaining funds will be given to states to distribute through separate state-wide reverse auctions. If there are no unserved areas in a state, the state may use the funding to deploy broadband in underserved areas, or schools and libraries, or to fund the deployment of Next Generation 911.
Ranking Member Frank Pallone of New Jersey called the measure a blueprint for critical investments on the nation’s infrastructure that will also create jobs and boost economic growth. The bill comes as lawmakers in both parties aim to write an infrastructure investment bill sometime this session.
In addition to Pallone, sponsors are: Bobby Rush (D-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Gene Green (D-TX), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI).
May 19, 2017