House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats got wind of the Lifeline compromise that would have created a hard cap on the fund's spending Thursday (March 31) and fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging him to reject a cap, according to a copy of the letter obtained by B&C/Multichannel News.
The compromise, brokered by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn fell apart when she concluded she could not support it, and the hard cap was not adopted.
They said they strongly supported the commission's effort to modernize and expand the program.
"While we have long supported the Lifeline program and the essential assistance that it provides to low-income Americans, we cannot support any action that would severely limit the program."
They said any cap would threaten the program.
Signing on to the letter were G.K. Butterfield, Doris Matsui, Mike Doyle, Yvette Clarke, Bobby Rush, Jerry McNerney, Ben Ray Lujann, Anna Eshoo and Frank Pallone.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.