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How would you -- -- free cell -- paid for by the federal government and cellphone users to good to be true.
Now it is not it is called the lifeline program providing bones to low income Americans but the program and the costs associated with -- have simply spiraled out of control.
They started handing these phones up for free back in 2008.
Then the program spent roughly a 143 million dollars on cellphones now the government has -- is want to do is spending more than one and a quarter.
And by the government of course I mean you and me all of us take a look at your phone bill.
Buried under and there it is the early universal service fund and that's and good.
The fees surcharges.
All of this paying for the lifeline program our next guest -- an uncle Sam's unlimited plan he's working to stop it.
Joining us now congressman Tim -- -- member of the judiciary foreign affairs and armed services committees congressman good to have you with us and thank you.
I mean this is crazy stuff.
Well unfortunately we've gotten accustomed to hearing these countless stories but what happen -- for years.
We had a reasonable lifeline plan whereby.
-- come folks could get a land line in their home.
And a few years ago.
Actually as you mentioned around 2006.
The decision was made.
To expand this program.
To cell phones.
And it's not just for those that we think god is welfare recipients but if you have -- a whole list of -- whole list.
Different programs if you appear on on -- you get a free cell phone wanna get aggravated just -- -- about somebody else get a -- getting a cell phone.
Because you know the government's running at its its screwed up.
So what are we going to -- you -- through legislation to stop this we're kind of reception -- getting to that proposal.
That's right my bill basically just says look.
We're gonna kill the cell phone component completely.
And take a lifeline program back to where is just land lines you don't have a lot of abuse without you don't have people warning.
1012 land lines you've got people getting five -- 2040.
Cell phones not showing identification.
Trading them selling them -- or -- what any it would be giving people for African.
Twenty well on three phone sporting fall -- -- here here's the way this works.
You have private sector companies who have signed up through this federal program.
And every phone that they give out they get a certain amount.
-- And so there's an incentive to get about as many as AG -- What I think you -- don't congressman but that's a stimulus program on the part of this administration well -- money's going to good US aid firms.
And hiring ago good American workers.
Well let me just tell you we're trying to stop that we've got a lot of support.
But we need a lot more I don't I went through the list congressman.
Of those phone companies.
By the way they're not good US say there -- be fine companies but they're not.
They're not about American.
Business and they're not about American workers.
In this is -- crazy proposition we've got here.
Well -- and it also brings up the fundamental question of why are we providing.
People with free cell phones.
These -- phones were you push a button for an emergency call 911.
These are phones that allow you.
A hundred or whatever 215 minutes a month.
To chat what your friends.
And I just.
It it raises the fundamental question of why are we buying cell phones.
For the population there's something let you go through the list something like fifty to sixty million people are potentially eligible.
Under the law as it currently written for the Harlem's congressman I I don't want.
Dispute patients are are preventive review but under this administration not my guess is about 300 million people.
Could be interpreted as being.
Eligible for this program well we're trying to stop it.
Fact well we're glad you are and we wish you luck what's the next step.
Well we just got a continued to educate people if you go to Griffin dot house dot gov we've got some.
Videos that we've put together that that walk people through some of the abuse.
And that we gotta get more 'cause sponsors.
We that -- a lot of members of congress who haven't heard from their constituents on this issue I have this issue was brought to my attention.
By people in my district around Little -- Who were getting phones in the mail that they never even requested.
So try to remember organizers what will say is good for you and -- -- and its -- and dot house dot gov yes are up next.
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