The bipartisan temporary budget deal lawmakers wrangled over until the early hours of Friday morning includes $20 billion in infrastructure spending, including rural broadband. That breaks down to $10 billion for FY18 and $10 billion for FY19 – to invest in infrastructure, including programs related to rural broadband, rural water and wastewater, clean and safe drinking water, energy, innovative capital projects, and surface transportation.
“This is an important step forward to
help bridge the digital divide and connect the hardest to reach areas,”
said USTelecom President/CEO Jonathan Spalter. Energy
and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said the agreement
“marks an important step forward” on several priorities the committee
has championed for many months.
Passage was rocky in both houses of
Congress. Late Thursday evening, the White House instructed federal
agencies to prepare for a possible partial federal government shutdown.
The Senate cleared the measure after 1 a.m. Friday morning. The House
voted on the measure at around 5:30 a.m. and the President signed it
into law before 9 a.m. The government partially shutdown for about five
hours overnight, but reopened Friday morning. Continue Reading