David Scott, Glenn Thompson urge Congress to take up rural broadband bill

headshot of Representative David ScottRepresentative David Scott (official Congressional photo)

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott and ranking Republican Glenn Thompson wrote a letter to congressional leaders urging them to take up the bipartisan bill H.R. 4374, also known as the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act.

The act would provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture with $43.2 billion to expand broadband internet access to rural areas.

Scott represents GA-13, which includes the southern portion of Cobb County. Thompson represents PA-15, and was the chair of the committee until Democrats won control of the House in 2018.

The bill was passed out of committee on July 14th, 2021.

A summary of the bill can be found by following this link.

A fact sheet on the bill including the cost can be found by following this link.

Here is the letter Scott and Thompson sent to congressional leaders upon passage of the bill from the committee:

Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Leader McCarthy, and Whip Scalise:

We write today to ask you for your assistance for a Floor vote on our bipartisan legislation, H.R. 4374, the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act, providing USDA with an authorization of $43.2 billion, which received a unanimous committee vote.

It is vitally important that the USDA, with its unique expertise, experience, and 159 years History serving Rural America, provide the leading role in our nation’s rural broadband strategy. This is why we set aside partisan differences, to craft this legislation.

No agency is better equipped to bring rural broadband internet connections to rural America than the USDA.  We must remember, it was the USDA, that was authorized under the 1936 Rural Electrification Act that brought electricity to our rural communities. 

The USDA has the deep roots in rural America, where agriculture, food security, forestry, and the largest part of international trade. And, USDA already has the infrastructure on the ground, ready to go in every single state and territory in rural America. 

It is with deep respect and urgent need that we, respectfully, ask you, our bipartisan leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to help us get a Floor vote for our bill, the Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act.  God bless you and thank you.