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Charles Gonzalez on Technology

Democrat


Voted NO on terminating funding for National Public Radio.

    Congressional Summary: To prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content, including:
  1. broadcasting, transmitting, and programming over noncommercial educational radio broadcast Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created in 1967. Today, we have multiple listening choices; NPR [has become an] absurd anachronism. It is time to move forward and to let National Public Radio spread its wings and support itself.

    Opponent's Argument for voting No:
    [Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill will cripple National Public Radio, public radio stations, and programming that is vital to over 27 million Americans. We are now voting to deny the public access to one of our Nation's most credible sources of news coverage. This bill does not save a penny. This legislation does not serve any fiscal purpose, but it does serve an ugly ideological one. This legislation is not about reforming NPR. It is about punishing NPR. It is vindictive, it is mean-spirited, it is going to hit the smallest stations in rural areas particularly hard. Public radio is indispensable for access to news that's hard to get, especially where broadband service is limited.

    Reference: Prohibit Federal Funds for NPR; Bill H.1076 ; vote number 11-HV192 on Mar 17, 2011

    Voted YES on delaying digital TV conversion by four months.

    Congressional Summary:Amends the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act to delay the transition of television broadcasting from analog to digital to June 13, 2009. Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend for a 116-day period the licenses for recovered spectrum, including the construction requirements associated with those licenses.

    Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. RICK BOUCHER (D, VA-9): Fully 6.5 million households are totally unprepared for the transition on February 17; these 6.5 million households will lose all of their television service, and that number represents about 5.7% of the total American television viewing public. If almost 6%of the nation's households lose all of their television service, I think that most people would declare that the digital television transition has been a failure. In recognition of that reality, this legislation would delay the transition until June 12.

    Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. JOE LINUS BARTON (R, TX-6): The majority is trying to fix a problem that I do not think really exists. We have sent out 33 million coupons: 22 million of those coupons have been redeemed, and 11 million coupons are outstanding. The outstanding coupons are being redeemed, I think, by about 500,000 a week, something like that. In my opinion, you could keep the hard date and not have a problem, but if you think there is a problem, it is not from lack of money. We have appropriated $1.3 billion. About half of that is still in the Treasury, so the redemption rate is only about 52%. Even though we are delaying this until June 12 if this bill becomes law, according to the acting chairman of the FCC, 61% of the television stations in America are going to go ahead and convert to digital. 143 television stations already have converted, and in those areas where they have converted, I am not aware that there has been a huge problem.

    Reference: DTV Delay Act; Bill S.352 ; vote number 2009-H052 on Mar 4, 2009

    Voted NO on retroactive immunity for telecoms' warrantless surveillance.

    Proponents argument for voting YEA: Rep. ETHERIDGE. This bipartisan bill provides the critical tools that our intelligence community needs to ensure the safety of our Nation--to authorize surveillance in the case of an emergency situation, provided that they return to the FISA court within 7 days to apply for a warrant.

    Rep. LANGEVIN. One issue that has been repeatedly addressed is whether telecommunications companies should be granted immunity against pending lawsuits for their involvement in the earlier surveillance program. This legislation preserves a role for the U.S. court system to decide independently whether the telecommunications companies acted in good faith. Only after that review would the courts decide whether the telecommunications companies deserve any form of liability protection.

    Opponents argument for voting NAY: Rep. LEVIN. I oppose this bill because of the provisions that would confer retroactive immunity on the telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. It sets a dangerous precedent for Congress to approve a law that dismisses ongoing court cases simply on the basis that the companies can show that the administration told them that its warrantless surveillance program was legal. A program is not legal just because the administration claims that it is.

    Rep. NADLER. The House must decide today whether to uphold the rule of law & the supremacy of the Constitution or whether to protect & reward the lawless behavior of the administration and of the telecommunications companies that participated in its clearly illegal program of spying on innocent Americans. The bill is a fig-leaf, granting blanket immunity to the telecom companies for illegal acts. It denies people whose rights were violated their fair day in court, and it denies the American people their right to have the actions of the administration subjected to fair & independent scrutiny.

    Reference: FISA Amendments Act; Bill HR6304 ; vote number 2008-437 on Jun 20, 2008

    Voted YES on $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure.

    Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.

    Veto message from President Bush:

    This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.

    Reference: Veto override on Water Resources Development Act; Bill Veto override on H.R. 1495 ; vote number 2007-1040 on Nov 6, 2007

    Facilitate nationwide 2-1-1 phone line for human services.

    Gonzalez co-sponsored facilitating nationwide 2-1-1 phone line for human services

    A bill to facilitate nationwide availability of 2-1-1 telephone service for information and referral on human services & volunteer services. Congress makes the following findings:

    1. The FCC has assigned 2-1-1 as the national telephone number for information and referral on human services.
    2. 2-1-1 facilitates critical connections between families seeking services, including community-based and faith-based organizations.
    3. There are approximately 1,500,000 nonprofit organizations in the US [which would be listed in the 2-1-1 service].
    4. Government funding supports well-intentioned programs that are not fully utilized because of a lack of access to such programs.
    5. A national cost-benefit analysis estimates a net value to society of a national 2-1-1 system approaching $130,000,000 in the first year alone.
    6. While 69% of the population has access to 2-1-1 telephone service from a land line in 41 States, inadequate funding prevents access to that telephone service throughout each of the States.
    7. 2-1-1 telephone service facilitates the availability of a single repository where comprehensive data on all community services is collected & maintained.

    Introductory statement by Sponsor:

    Sen. CLINTON: In the immediate aftermath of the devastation of September 11, most people did not know where to turn for information about their loved ones. Fortunately for those who knew about it, 2-1-1 was already operating in Connecticut, and it was critical in helping identify the whereabouts of victims, connecting frightened children with their parents, providing information on terrorist suspects, and linking ready volunteers with victims.

    Every single American should have a number they can call to cut through the chaos of an emergency. That number is 2-1-1. It's time to make our citizens and our country safer by making this resource available nationwide.

    Source: Calling for 2-1-1 Act (S.211 and H.R.211) 07-HR211 on Jan 9, 2007

    Permanent ban on state & local taxation of Internet access.

    Gonzalez co-sponsored permanently banning state & local taxation of Internet access

    Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007 - Amends the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.

    Related bills: H.R.743, H.R.1077, H.R.3678, S.156.

    Source: Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (S.2128) 07-S2128 on Oct 2, 2007

    Popularize Electronic Signatures with ESIGN Day.

    Gonzalez signed H.CON.RES.290 & S.RES.576

      Now, therefore, be it Resolved that Congress supports the designation of a 'National ESIGN Day';
    1. recognizes the previous contribution made by Congress to the adoption of modern solutions that keep the United States on the leading technological edge; and
    2. reaffirms its commitment to facilitating interstate and foreign commerce in an increasingly digital world.
    Source: National ESIGN Day 10-HR290 on Jun 24, 2010

    2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Technology: Charles Gonzalez on other issues:
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    Page last updated: Jun 09, 2012