Lawmakers Introduce the Preventing Disruptions to Universal Services Funds Act

Reps Jahana Hayes (D-CT), and Marc Veasey (D-TX) introduced the Preventing Disruptions to Universal Services Funds Act (H.R.5400) to extend access to federal funds for telecommunications programs for three years, eliminating the need for a yearly fund recertification. The bill was created to ensure internet access for millions across the country is not disrupted by federal funding costs allowing for continuous access to available resources. The Universal Service Fund (USF) helps to fund the following programs, among others:

  • The Schools and Libraries Program, commonly called the E-Rate Program, provides needs-based discounts to eligible schools and libraries for telecommunications services.     
  • The Rural Health Care Program, which helps reduce cost and ensure parity for rural health care providers’ internet services. This program helps make telehealth more accessible for patients. 
  • The Lifeline Program, which helps provides subsidies to reduce costs for qualified broadband consumers or households, like those accessing SNAP or housing assistance.

For the past several years, Congress has exempted the USF from the Anti-Deficiency Act for the next year. This bill is simple; it would extend the exemption for 3 years just to make sure that there is no disruption to the funds going to these important initiatives.

Hayes, Veasey Introduce Bill to Extend Funds for Internet Connectivity Across Nation