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house Bill H.R. 5525

Should the Government Stop Providing Low Income Americans With Cell Phone and Internet Subsidies?

Argument in favor

The simplest way to stamp out fraud in the Lifelines program is to remove cell phones and wireless broadband from the list of eligible services. Americans should not be forced to pay tax dollars to subsidize fraud.

GrumpyMSgt's Opinion
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06/22/2016
Just remember the NFL, there is no free lunch! This TWO BILLION DOLLARS would be better used at the VA where services were EARNED. Stop these handouts!
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SUMN3R's Opinion
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06/27/2016
These are not required for those that need help. This is not an EBT or WIC category. No one in this life "needs" a cell and Internet.
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David's Opinion
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06/28/2016
When the government provides housing, food, health care, day care, cell phone, and Internet, what then is to incentivize people to get up, get out, and be productive? It is not the function of government to prop up those who will not support themselves or their families. Life is a struggle, and success must be earned if one is to achieve a sense of self worth. True freedom can only be experienced through responsible action.
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Argument opposed

Fraud in the Lifelines program should be investigated, but cell phone and internet subsidies should not be stripped from struggling Americans. These services are crucial for accessing education, jobs, and services to lead a stable life.

Gary's Opinion
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06/21/2016
Stop providing corporations with subsidies and tax breaks, then we'll talk about low-income citizens.
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Devin's Opinion
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06/27/2016
How should someone expect to get a job without a phone?
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gailnabity's Opinion
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06/24/2016
Without access to a phone when you're trying your best to rebuild your life so that you aren't dependent on the government will make it nearly impossible to find a good job. Furthermore, in the 21st century a mobile phone to call 911 in an emergency is critical. These people have children who need to be kept safe. And that my friends is a national responsibility. These children just as all children are America's future. Most Americans are one paycheck away from poverty. Being laid off...an illness or accident...a divorce that leaves a wife and her children penniless or in poverty while she gets an education that makes her marketable...there are endless scenarios that force good people to apply for government assistance until they have the necessary income to depend on only themselves. I am disgusted to see how Republicans treat the least of these.
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Bill Details

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Title

End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act of 2016

Official Title

To prohibit universal service support of commercial mobile service and commercial mobile data service through the Lifeline program.

Summary

End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act of 2016 This bill prohibits a provider of commercial mobile service or commercial mobile data service from receiving universal service support under the Communications Act of 1934 through the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Lifeline program, which provides subsidies for discounts on monthly telephone or broadband service (e.g., Internet service on mobile phones) to qualifying low-income consumers. The FCC must continue to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers through 2017 based on mobile service support provided in 2016 despite the bill's prohibition on Lifeline universal service support for mobile services. But the amounts collected for mobile services must be deposited in the Treasury for deficit reduction instead of being distributed for universal service support.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Rejected June 21st, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 207 Yea / 143 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJune 16th, 2016

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    Just remember the NFL, there is no free lunch! This TWO BILLION DOLLARS would be better used at the VA where services were EARNED. Stop these handouts!
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    Stop providing corporations with subsidies and tax breaks, then we'll talk about low-income citizens.
    Like (137)
    Follow
    Share
    How should someone expect to get a job without a phone?
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    Without access to a phone when you're trying your best to rebuild your life so that you aren't dependent on the government will make it nearly impossible to find a good job. Furthermore, in the 21st century a mobile phone to call 911 in an emergency is critical. These people have children who need to be kept safe. And that my friends is a national responsibility. These children just as all children are America's future. Most Americans are one paycheck away from poverty. Being laid off...an illness or accident...a divorce that leaves a wife and her children penniless or in poverty while she gets an education that makes her marketable...there are endless scenarios that force good people to apply for government assistance until they have the necessary income to depend on only themselves. I am disgusted to see how Republicans treat the least of these.
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    It's so heartwarming (NOT!) to see how many of you lump all low-income Americans together and ASSUME that they're ALL a bunch of lazy bums! What if YOU were a disabled person who was unable to hold down a job, and/or a senior citizen trying to keep body and soul together on less than $800/mo. Social Security?! I have to wonder how some of you can call yourselves human beings sometimes. Some of you seem completely unable to empathize with the less fortunate members of our society! NOT EVERY LOW INCOME AMERICAN IS A FREE LOADER DOING DRUGS AND JUST WANTING TO SPONGE OFF THE REST OF SOCIETY!
    Like (26)
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    These are not required for those that need help. This is not an EBT or WIC category. No one in this life "needs" a cell and Internet.
    Like (15)
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    Fraud is rampant, however the need for low budget and affordable technologies for struggling Americans takes precedent over that. Fraud can be investigated and lessened over time.
    Like (14)
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    When the government provides housing, food, health care, day care, cell phone, and Internet, what then is to incentivize people to get up, get out, and be productive? It is not the function of government to prop up those who will not support themselves or their families. Life is a struggle, and success must be earned if one is to achieve a sense of self worth. True freedom can only be experienced through responsible action.
    Like (8)
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    In today's world access to the Internet and a phone is critical to find and apply for jobs.
    Like (8)
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    They need access to phones. Pay phones don't exist anymore
    Like (7)
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    Obama phones (as they are known) do not have internet service and their phone services are VERY limited. This is a non issue
    Like (6)
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    Internet should be treated like electricity it's a necessity to the modern world
    Like (5)
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    My fellow Georgian wants to screw over poor even more. It's not enough to push them out of healthcare (Gov Deal refused to expand Medicaid) and trying to stop giving their children school lunches, now they should be shut out of the Internet and phones. What is wrong with these loser republicans? They sure aren't Christians, no matter what they say.
    Like (4)
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    In order for people to pull themselves out of poverty they need access to phones an internet. That is just the reality of our society.
    Like (3)
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    It appears that fraud & abuse is the real issue here. It makes sense to me to focus efforts on eliminating the fraud issue rather than eliminate these services, which penalizes those who are legitimately entitled.
    Like (3)
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    I honestly think that our taxes shouldn't go towards people who get these so called phones for the heck of it because in all honestly they don't use them for the appropriate reasons anyways
    Like (3)
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    They should try to lower the prices on regular cell phone bills
    Like (3)
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    I've witnessed fraud ABUSE in 3-generations of a family. Let's multiply this across the nation. People who choose wisely will outgrow and not need to "use-the-system". It's the people who choose to "abuse-the-system" I vote "STOP"!
    Like (3)
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    I've seen people complain and say to stop corporate subsidies first... Why not follow the constitution and stop both? The subsidies are all illegal and undermine the role of our country and founding principles.
    Like (2)
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    Phone and internet service are not luxuries - they are necessary to be effective in the workplace and the education system.
    Like (2)
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