Originally published: October 2, 2011
Last updated: October 2, 2011 - 2:05pm
House Republicans next week will seek to pass legislation that would require federal agencies to terminate grants aimed at expanding broadband access.
Republicans as early as Oct 5 will call up HR 1343, which could recapture millions of the $7.2 billion in broadband grant funding from the 2009 stimulus bill. It would rescind the funds in cases of waste, fraud or abuse, or when those grants have been returned. According to GOP report language on the bill, that money was split between the Commerce Department and the Agriculture Department to help spur investment in broadband access in rural and remote areas of the country. But the report notes that 233 of the awards under the Commerce Department program worth $38.7 million were returned, mostly grants for Wisconsin and Indiana. While last year's Dodd-Frank financial reform law included new language giving agency heads the option of returning unused grant money to the Treasury Department, House Republicans want to require the money be returned in these cases.
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