The Conaway Chronicle
Thank you for reading The Conaway Chronicle, a review of my activities in Congress. This newsletter is to let you know what’s going on in Washington and what important issues are being debated in Congress.
Health Care Update
I want to give you a quick update on where we stand here in Congress with the Democrats health care bill. The rumors you may hear about this bill being able to pass the House and Senate “as is”, and signed by the President, are simply not accurate. Because of the millions of Americans across the country who have voiced their opposition, along with Republicans in Congress who have worked to block this legislation, the bill has successfully been stalled. I encourage you to watch this short video to get a quick update on the current state of the health care bill. You can also click here to see a survey of the American public which proves that the majority of Americans want to start over on health care.
Earthquake Aftermath in Haiti
On January 12, as the world shook underneath poverty-stricken Port-au-Prince, Haiti, hundreds of thousands of people found themselves displaced, with no food or water, and without their families. While there is nothing words can do to help those who have lost everything and are struggling to survive, the United States has coordinated an international effort to ensure that all can be done to help the injured, homeless, hungry, and children who were orphaned by the devastating earthquake.
As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, we are working with the Department of Defense to ensure our nation provides all the resources necessary to support the efforts and the long-term assistance and disaster relief mission in Haiti.
I continue to pray for the people of Haiti, and seek opportunities to support the rescue effort. To donate to the American Red Cross, click here.
Helping Rural America
Last week, it was announced that the RUS Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) are now offering applications for the second round of funding for broadband in rural America.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration with $7.2 billion to expand access to broadband services in the United States. The 2008 Farm Bill reauthorized the USDA broadband loan program and improved the criteria used by USDA to select broadband projects for loans, loan and grant combinations, and grants.
I applaud the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for their timely attention to this important matter. Broadband has the potential to generate American jobs in rural America - not overseas. To achieve that goal, access must be affordable and accessible to people living in rural America. By providing this funding, jobs will be created in our rural communities, technology and infrastructure will improve, and the economies in rural America will change for the better.
The BIP provides loans and grants for broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas. The BTOP provides grants to fund broadband infrastructure, public computer centers, and sustainable Broadband adoption projects.
Please visit www.broadbandusa.gov for all information on broadband funding. On February 1, 2010, USDA and NTIA will host a workshop on the funding in San Antonio. Please visit this website to learn more and register for the workshop: http://www.broadbandusa.gov/workshop.htm.