Cory Booker on Technology
"Even in a divided Washington, infrastructure investment shouldn't be a partisan issue," said Sen. Booker. "I believe we can unite Republicans and Democrats around this issue and get something done. We can't afford to ignore the aging infrastructure of our country and our state anymore. Failing to make the necessary developments in infrastructure is not only crippling our competitiveness in a global economy, it's crippling hard-working New Jerseyans' opportunities to excel here at home. I will continue to work for long-term investment in infrastructure that creates jobs, stimulates economic growth, and improves the quality of our public transportation."
The federal lawmakers also urged their colleagues in Washington to pass a long-term fix to fully fund the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which will go bankrupt in this summer.
American rail infrastructure, once considered the best in the world, now ranks eighteenth, plagued by congested choke points and crossings that force trains to travel at inefficient low speeds.
This has real economic consequences: a weak national infrastructure not only raises production costs and reduces productivity for American businesses, but also discourages foreign investment and development. We can create jobs and strengthen our infrastructure for decades to come by creating a national infrastructure bank that leverages public funding to increase private investment in American roads, bridges, airports, marine ports and other assets
We need new ways to protect the computer-connected systems that keep lights on and banks open. Years ago we decided that physical security--fences and cameras -- around sensitive sites like power plants was essential. Yet there is no requirement, or even voluntary standard, for putting virtual fences around the computers that run these facilities.
When critical infrastructure is attacked or essential data is stolen, companies need a clear way to report it to civilian authorities so that government has a picture of the threats and other companies can protect themselves from similar attacks.
And today our businesses, industries, entrepreneurs and economy realize a return on those investments. Let us not fall prey to rhetoric that seeks to gut investment and starve our nation of critical, common-sense building for our future. And investment must include the real engine of job growth in America: the American small business.
Excerpts from Letter to FCC chairman from 15 Senators: We write to express how deeply troubled we are that one of your first actions as FCC Chairman has been to undermine the Lifeline program and make it more difficult for low-income people to access affordable broadband. Lifeline is a critical tool for closing the digital divide--a problem you pledged to prioritize. Abruptly revoking the recognition of nine companies as Lifeline broadband providers does nothing but create a chilling effect on potential provider participation, and unfairly punish low-income consumers.
Last year, the FCC modernized the Lifeline program, rightfully refocusing its support on broadband, which helps end the cruel "homework gap" for the five million out of the 28 million households in this country with school-aged children who lack access to broadband.
By statute, the FCC has an obligation to ensure "consumers in all regions of the country, including low-income consumers" have access to "advanced telecommunications services."
Opposing argument: (Heritage Budget Book, "Cut Universal Service Subsidies"): Heritage Recommendation: Eliminate telecommunications subsidies for rural areas, phase out the schools and libraries subsidy program, and reduce spending on the Lifeline program by reducing fraud and waste. The "Lifeline" fund, while well-intended, has been plagued by fraud and abuse, as costs tripled from under $600 million in 2001 to almost $1.8 billion in the 2013 funding year.
Supporting argument: (ACLU, "Task Force Letter"): The ACLU, a co-chair of the Leadership Conference Media Task Force, joined this letter to the FCC Chairman in response to his decisions to revoke the Lifeline Broadband Provider designations for nine providers. The ACLU has long supported expansion of the Lifeline program, which provides access to phone and broadband services for lower income families.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races 2017-8:
AL: Strange(R) ; no opponent yet
AZ: Flake(R) vs. Ward(R)
CA: Feinstein(D) vs. Eisen(D) vs. Sanchez?(D) vs. Garcetti?(D)
CT: Murphy(D) ; no opponent yet
DE: Carper(D) vs. Biden?(D) vs. Markell?(D)
FL: Nelson(D) vs. DeSantis(R) vs. Jolly(R) vs. Lopez-Cantera(R)
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MT: Tester(D) vs. Racicot?(R)
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