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“Do the right thing … ensure that Ohioans and people all over our country don’t have to choose between Internet service and food.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a speech this afternoon on the Senate floor, Senator JD Vance (R-OH) appealed to his colleagues to ensure the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is not allowed to expire.

Watch Senator Vance’s remarks here and read an excerpt below:

Senator Vance: “Real people are going to suffer when this program goes away. You have people who have to pick between food service and Internet connectivity. You have an elderly woman who may not be able to connect to her friends and family. You have people worried about their telemedicine and health care visits.
“On the point about federal spending, it breaks my heart when a constituent who can’t afford Internet service is writing to us, apologizing for a program’s budgetary hit when it’s a tiny, tiny slice of the American federal budget.
“I know this is a controversial comment with some of my colleagues, but if we can afford to fund military conflicts the world over, can’t we afford to provide basic connectivity and services for our own people?
“Disabled people choosing between food and Internet connection: that is the choice that we have foisted upon them by not authorizing this program. I am disappointed by that, Mr. President.
“And again, I’ll say that it presents an opportunity for us to do the right thing, to make reforms to the ACP program where it needs to be reformed, but to do the right thing, reauthorize this program and ensure that Ohioans and people all over our country don’t have to choose between Internet service and food.
“We can do that. We just have to do our jobs.”

For Background: 

  • Through a proposed amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act, Senators Vance and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) attempted to provide $6 billion of new funding to the ACP, complete the equipment removal of China-based companies Huawei and ZTE through $3 billion of funding for the “rip and replace” program, and allow the FCC to reauction certain spectrum licenses. 

  • In addition, Senators Vance and Welch introduced standalone legislationto provide additional funding to the ACP.