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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 John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE to include funding for expanding broadband access to rural communities in his infrastructure plan.

Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoWhoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' GOP senator: No indication of widespread voting irregularities, window for Trump challenges is 'closing' Hillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software MORE (R-W.Va.), Angus KingAngus KingLeadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Republicans start turning the page on Trump era MORE (I-Maine), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharFormer Minnesota Democratic leader quits party Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Lawmakers question tech CEOs about content moderation in first post-election hearing MORE (D-Minn.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (D-N.D.) and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanBusiness groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' COVID-19 relief talks look dead until September  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.”