Press Release

#SubCommTech to Examine Bills to Improve Public Safety and Rein in FCC’s Lifeline Program


Walden: “Collectively, these bills will advance our efforts on two important fronts - public safety and a more accountable FCC.”

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), has scheduled a legislative hearing for Wednesday, April 13, 2016, to examine the following bills:

H.R. 2031, Anti-Swatting Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), would;

  • Create enhanced penalties for those who use false or misleading caller ID information to trigger a response by law enforcement agencies, known as “swatters.”

H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), would;

  • Create requirements for mobile service providers during emergencies to ensure that consumers have access to networks during disasters, and requires the FCC and GAO to examine the resiliency of networks during these events. In addition, it amends the Stafford Act to include all categories of communications service providers that may access disaster sites to restore service. 

H.R. 4190, Spectrum Challenge Prize of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), would;

  • Create a prize program through NTIA to award up to $5 million to participants who develop ground-breaking solutions to maximize spectrum efficiency.

H.R. 4111, Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), would;

  • Allow skilled nursing facilities to apply for universal service funding for communications services used to provide health care in rural communities. 

H.R. 4167, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, authored by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), would;

  • Require that any multi-line telephone systems, commonly found in schools, offices, hotels, and hospitals connect directly to 911 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.

H.R. 4884, the CURB Lifeline Act, authored by Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), would;

  • Reform the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline subsidy program by capping the fund at $1.5 billion, prohibiting the use of the subsidy for devices, and phasing out the subsidy for voice only service for mobile.

H.R. 4889, the Kelsey Smith Act, authored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), would;

  • Require telecommunications carriers to share location data with law enforcement if law enforcement believes that someone is in danger of death or serious harm.

Chairman Walden commented, “Collectively, these bills will advance our efforts on two important fronts – public safety and a more accountable FCC. We look forward to continuing our work next week to help enhance the safety of the American people and rein in unchecked government spending while improving accountability to ratepayers.”

Additional information will be posted HERE as it becomes available.


Press Release