Rick Scott Introduces the Broadband Buildout Accountability Act

Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., brought out the “Broadband Buildout Accountability Act.”

The bill will “increase transparency for a $42 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Package (BIF) broadband buildout grant awarded to the National Technology Information Administration (NTIA), which is currently exempted from transparency requirements under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)” and “remove the FOIA exemption and require proof of how the $42 billion is spent to ensure taxpayer dollars are not misused.”

Scott rounded up more than a dozen Republican co-sponsors in the Senate including U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who leads the GOP on the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“Americans deserve to know how the government is spending their money—especially on a $42 billion grant that will help get essential internet services to those that need it most. My Broadband Buildout Accountability Act will increase transparency and help ensure this taxpayer money is spent with maximum accountability and return on investment. Spending taxpayer dollars should be a crystal clear process. I thank every Republican colleague of mine on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for their support and I urge my colleagues to support this bill which increases government accountability and transparency to Americans everywhere,” Scott said.

“Federal funds alone cannot overcome the obstacles to building and maintaining broadband networks. Taxpayer dollars need to be spent efficiently and targeted where they are needed most. This legislation would bring transparency and accountability to the broadband buildout process, allowing more Americans to get connected as quickly as possible,” Wicker said.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.

Kevin Derby
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