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Statement on Farm Bill: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden

Dec 12, 2018

press release

December 12, 2018

Contact: Press Office
(202) 226-4972

Walden Statement on Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Farm Bill, which included several key provisions to support broadband infrastructure. The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Several Energy and Commerce Committee priorities were in the Farm Bill, including:

  • Greatly improved coordination of funding by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), providing the Energy and Commerce Committee further oversight to ensure that federal dollars are received by communities most in need, and barring finite dollars from being sent to cities already served. These agencies are also to report to the committee on the bandwidth challenges facing rural providers in the modern content delivery marketplace.
  • Inclusion of #SubDCCP Chairman Bob Latta’s H.R. 4881, the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act, which tasks the FCC with working with the Department of Agriculture on efforts to increase broadband deployment and adoption in rural areas so ranchers and farmers are able to improve their yields with increased connectivity. H.R. 4881 was reported by the committee on July 12, 2018 and passed the House on July 23, 2018 by a vote of 378-4.
  • Reauthorization of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) for 10 years. NORA helps provide more efficient and more reliable heat and hot water to American consumers.

“Continuing the Energy and Commerce Committee’s record of promoting broadband infrastructure, the legislation passed today by the House will ease the regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, help America’s farmers embrace next-generation technologies, and ensure federal resources target the communities most in need of assistance with infrastructure buildout. Together, these key priorities will help expand high-speed internet access to the approximately 23 million Americans who lack it, bringing us closer to shrinking the digital divide. I applaud the Senate for passing this vital legislation and urge President Trump to sign it into law soon,” said Chairman Walden.