Lawmakers Called out for Touting Broadband Funding They Voted Against

June 28, 2023

A couple of Republican Senators have been “ratioed” on Twitter after they touted funding their states received for broadband expansion from legislation they voted against.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) tweeted Tuesday, “Broadband is vital for the success of our rural communities and for our entire economy. Great to see Alabama receive crucial funds to boost ongoing broadband efforts.”

Readers added context to the tweet that said, “Important context to know here: while Sen Tuberville is celebrating this grant now, he voted against it when it came up in the Senate, and never expressed support for it, until now.”

The tweet received more than 14,000 responses, most of which echoed that of historian Kevin Kruse, who wrote, “Yes, your constituents should be glad that other senators voted to make this happen when you voted against it.”

President Biden taunted Tuberville, tweeting Thursday morning, “See you at the groundbreaking.”

He then mentioned the Alabama Senator by name during his speech that afternoon on “Bidenomics” in Chicago, saying, “There’s a guy named Tuberville, Senator from Alabama, went out and said he strongly opposed the legislation. Now he’s hailing its passage.”

Just hours after Tuberville’s tweet, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wrote on Twitter, “Texas to receive $3.3 billion in federal funds to boost broadband expansion efforts.”

He received a similar series of responses, with some accusing him of “stolen valor” for attempting to take credit for legislation he voted against.

President Biden on Monday had announced $42 billion in federal funding to expand high-speed internet access nationwide as part of the as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

There were 19 Senate Republicans who joined all 50 Democrats in voting for the bill’s passage—none of whom were either Senator from Alabama or Texas.

While Texas’ $3.3 billion is the largest lump sum to any single state, Alaska, whose Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski did vote in support of the bill, will reportedly receive the most funding per capital in the broadband rollout—at least $1 billion in federal aid.

In his remarks Monday, Biden thanked Vice President Harris, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, his senior advisor Mitch Landrieu and Director of Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young whom he called a “jack of all trades.”

He further noted support for the legislation from initially reluctant Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose state is to receive more than $1.2 billion in funding for broadband projects. Manchin attended the President’s speech.

“It’s the biggest investment in high-speed internet ever, because for today’s economy to work for everyone, internet access is just as important as electricity or water or other basic services,” Biden said.

On Monday, the Commerce Department officially divvied up the allocated $42 billion based largely on local needs.


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