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Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to fund broadband in infrastructure plan

Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to fund broadband in infrastructure plan
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators is urging President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE to include funding for expanding broadband access to rural communities in his infrastructure plan.

Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBiden-GOP infrastructure talks off to rocky start Moderate GOP senators and Biden clash at start of infrastructure debate America's infrastructure: You get what you pay for MORE (R-W.Va.), Angus KingAngus KingGroups petition EPA to remove ethane and methane from list of compounds exempt from emissions limits Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows Five things to watch on Biden infrastructure plan MORE (I-Maine), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLobbying world New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy Bottom line MORE (D-Minn.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampBill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment MORE (D-N.D.) and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanArkansas governor quietly bucking GOP's dive into culture wars Trump allies line up ahead of potentially bruising primaries Fundraising spat points to Trump-GOP fissures MORE (R-Ark.) sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday emphasizing the importance of internet access for rural states.

“Our rural communities have connectivity needs that are not being met, limiting economic opportunity and growth,” wrote the senators, all co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus. “Prioritizing direct funding support for broadband deployment in an infrastructure package will help close the digital divide and ensure our country maintains its global competitiveness.”

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The White House had said that it would release its infrastructure proposal this month, but it may not be ready until February.

Funding broadband expansion has widespread support among lawmakers and the tech and broadband industries. But Democrats and Republicans have offered differing views on how to fund such projects.

Trump’s proposal is expected to aim to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure projects, though it is still unclear how much of that will go towards broadband.

“Boosting current investments in broadband deployment will provide new economic opportunities in communities that are struggling to compete,” Wednesday’s letter reads. “Expanding access to broadband is the infrastructure challenge of our generation and an infrastructure plan for the 21st century must address the broadband connectivity issues facing rural America.”