Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 43 of her Republican colleagues today sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing the Lifeline program. Lifeline is also commonly referred to as the “Obamaphone” program because of the program’s explosive growth for subsidized cell phones under the Obama Administration.
“The American people don't have any faith in this failed Lifeline 'Obamaphone' program – it needs to be abolished and the FCC needs to answer our questions,” said Blackburn. “Obamaphone welfare symbolizes how the culture of government dependency is weakening America. Allowing this failed program to continue operating during the government shutdown is wrong and something needs to be done about it. The FCC shouldn’t simply get to put a band-aid on the program and say they’re saving money – people believe it should be eliminated altogether.”
This government-run phone program is paid for by taxes on millions of telecommunications consumers. The cost has gone up from about $800 million in 2005 to $2.2 billion in 2012. Although the FCC’s online resources are currently unavailable because of the government shutdown, the Lifeline program continues to operate
. Lifeline is so plagued with waste, fraud, and abuse the FCC was forced to recently announce it would seek $14 million in penalties against 5 Lifeline operators.
to read Rep. Blackburn's letter to the FCC.