Shaheen Chairs Hearing with Testimony from Secretary Raimondo on Broadband Provisions in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

February 01, 2022

**Shaheen is Chair of the Pivotal Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that Oversees Federal Funding for the Department of Commerce, Which Makes Robust Investments in Broadband Programs** 

**Shaheen Led Bipartisan Negotiations Around the Broadband Provisions in the Historic Infrastructure Package**

Shaheen Chairs Hearing with Testimony from Secretary Raimondo on Broadband Provisions in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), chair of the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee, welcomed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo today to testify before the subcommittee on the broadband provisions included in the bipartisan infrastructure law, and to address other priorities related to the Department of Commerce’s jurisdiction through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), of which Shaheen was a lead negotiator.

During the hearing, Shaheen questioned Secretary Raimondo about anticipated timing for the rollout of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maps that will determine how much funding states are allocated for broadband investments. She also asked how states can work together and coordinate with various federal agencies on broadband initiatives, as well as the capacity of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to oversee these widespread broadband deployment and digital equity programs. Shaheen concluded her questioning by highlighting the need to implement as intended the IIJA’s measures that connect low-income Americans with high-quality, affordable internet services.  

“In New Hampshire, like in every state around the country, you cannot fully participate in American life without reliable high-speed internet. From families navigating remote schooling during the pandemic to small businesses trying to compete, the pandemic laid bare what was always true: broadband, like water and electricity, is a necessity. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes huge strides toward digital equity, but there is still so much work to be done,” Shaheen said. “I appreciated Secretary Raimondo appearing before this committee today to lay out everything from the release of FCC maps that will shape funding allocations, to collaboration between states and federal agencies administering broadband programs. These investments will transform the lives of tens of millions of Americans, and I’m committed to working closely with the administration to ensure this funding is allocated swiftly and fairly to New Hampshire and across the nation.” 

As a lead negotiator of the historic bipartisan infrastructure deal, Shaheen led bipartisan broadband negotiations with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and successfully secured $65 billion to support broadband affordability and deployment across the nation. The package also builds on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program by investing $14.2 billion to help working and low-income families access affordable high-speed internet. In June, Shaheen joined President Biden and a bipartisan group of Senators to announce the framework of the package. Shaheen joined members of the bipartisan group on the Senate floor to unveil bill text of the legislation in August. 

Watch Shaheen’s opening remarks here, her first line of questioning of Secretary Raimondo here, and her second round of questioning here.

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