WASHINGTON July 8, 2010- Montana Senator Max Baucus (D) is proposing a cut of $300 million from the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program and $300 million from Broadband Initiatives Program in order to fund new tax credits and extend unemployment benefits. Representative Dave Obey (D- Wis) has also proposed cutting the same amounts but wants to use the funds to offset the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Legal Director for Public Knowledge Harold Feld said in a blog post:
“Sure, a dollar $600 million cutback is less than 10% of the original program funding. But with studies showing that investment in broadband infrastructure contributes to future GDP growth, Congress shouldn’t cut back at all. To the contrary, now that NTIA has invested so much in creating the program, worked out the implementation bugs, and is pumping needed funds into local communities both rural and urban, Congress ought to expand the broadband stimulus program as an ongoing means of creating jobs today and building a more productive economy for tomorrow. At a minimum, Congress should not skim money that goes directly into local communities and creates infrastructure that will serve us all for a generation in order to fund a bunch of corporate tax credits that seem unlikely to create even a one-time increase in jobs.”