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Region’s Legislators Focus On Internet, Military Pay

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be investing $395,877 over the next decade to support the construction of broadband to homes and businesses across the Central Valley. Within six years, internet providers must build much-needed and long overdue internet infrastructure to provide communities with access to broadband.

“It doesn’t matter if you live in a big city or a small town – every American deserves access to the internet for work, for school, and to stay connected,” said area Congressman Josh Harder (CA-10). “This investment will get many homes and businesses in our area the internet access they need. In this day and age, it’s unbelievable that people in our communities still lack access to the internet. That’s unacceptable.”

The investment is part of the larger Connect America Fund Phase II, which seeks to close the digital divide in rural America. Additional investments will be announced over the coming months.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has passed H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. Included in the legislation were two amendments authored by Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) requiring a pay raise for military service members to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020 regardless of presidential attempts to change it, and directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to design a plan to reduce the intensity of military facilities’ water consumption.

In response to the passage of H.R. 2500, the Congressman issued the following statement:

“Every day, the men and women of our armed forces serve and protect our nation. Their patriotism should not be politicized. This tactic of delaying a pay raise for service members has been used in the past, but my amendment will prevent the livelihood of our troops from being used as a political weapon.

“Additionally, DoD is the largest federal agency with the highest water consumption rates. They’re also one of the leading innovators within the federal government, with outposts and facilities across the country and around the world. By charging DoD with the creation of a water conservation plan, we will be moving our nation toward a more sustainable water future.”