Technology and Communications
Rapid technological innovation is changing the way we live, how we work and access information and entertainment, and revolutionizing everything from agriculture and the auto industry, to manufacturing and medicine.
As a member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, I am working to ensure the benefits of the digital age are accessible for all families and business in Michigan—including rural areas—while promoting a regulatory environment which allows for continued technological growth and innovation.
America is a nation built on innovation and our companies are on the leading edge of these transformations. Congress has a role to play in ensuring future innovations can flourish free from undue interference, as the only way the federal government can keep pace with innovation is by promoting a light-touch regulatory approach that enables the digital economy to thrive.
In March 2018, the FCC released its proposed wireless infrastructure order that would save Americans an estimated $1.56 billion. The proposed order would not only expand broadband access for more Americans, including the expedited roll out of 5G, but the savings also could create more than 17,000 jobs.
Closing the Digital Divide
As a member of the Rural Broadband Caucus, I understand that expanding broadband deployment to rural America is important so that these residents are not left behind and can compete in our global economy. Serving rural America poses unique challenges, and there are still far too many individuals who lack access to broadband internet and the benefits it offers. There is no simple fix to closing this “digital divide,” but Congress can take important steps to expand access to high-speed Internet.
In March 2018, I voted in support of H.R. 4986, RAY BAUM'S Act, which was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act and signed into law by the President on March 23, 2018. The legislation reauthorized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the first time in 28 years, including reforms to ensure the commission continues to improve its efficiency and transparency. The bill included $600 million in appropriated funding for a new pilot grant and loan combination program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide broadband to under-served rural and tribal areas.
The reauthorization also included provisions promoting broadband Internet access service for veterans, in particular low-income veterans and veterans living in rural areas. In May 2019, the FCC submitted its report on veteran broadband access to Congress.
For far too long our nation’s broadband mapping capabilities, have hindered our ability to expand broadband access to rural areas. Often, our nation’s maps have been woefully inaccurate in determining where exactly broadband service is and where service isn’t—leading to the FCC showing many people as having access to broadband when they do not.
I have worked with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee on a bipartisan basis to help solve these issues. In November of 2019, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed with my support, H.R. 4229, Broadband DATA Act, and H.R. 4227, MAPS Act, two pieces of legislation that will drastically improve our nation’s maps and ensure the federal government directs broadband funding to areas that need it most first. After years of effort, I am proud to say that these two pieces of important legislation passed the House in December 2019, and were signed into law in March 2020.
To further my efforts of closing the digital divide, I led a letter with 53 other bipartisan members of the House, to the Federal Communications Chairman, Ajit Pai, requesting that the upcoming FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program prioritize future-proof broadband deployment and strong accountability measures to help close the digital divide throughout the country.
Expanding Access to Spectrum
From smartphones, to tablets, to the Internet of Things, a myriad of new connected devices come online each day that rely on spectrum resources. Unlocking additional spectrum is key to meeting the growing demands of mobile broadband and competing with countries like China, and I am working to identify better ways to expand access to and improve the efficiency of the federal government's use of spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed use. In a world with more competition and less easy choices to make about our spectrum resources, we must continue to lead the world on innovative ways we manage our spectrum.
I worked alongside my colleagues in the Energy and Commerce Committee, to pass out of the committee H.R. 5000, SHARE Act, a bill which would establish a spectrum sharing program and test bed to explore new ways our nation can improve its spectrum sharing capabilities and maximize the technologies available for 5G deployment.
5G Supply Chain Security
As the innovation and deployment of 5G continues in America, it is paramount that we maintain our national security. One of the ways, we can do this is by ensuring America is a leading voice in the worldwide development of 5G. This is why I introduced H.R. 4500, Promoting United Stated Wireless Leadership, which puts the U.S. at the forefront of global 5G innovation, by encouraging the participation of trusted American companies in international standard-setting bodies. In November 2019, H.R. 4500 passed unanimously out of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
In 2018 alone, phone numbers with (517) and (734) area codes received over 223 million robocalls. For far to long, Americans have been plagued by the barrage of harmful and illegal robocall schemes.
In December 2019, I was proud to support S.151, TRACED Act, which has now been sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law. This bill will put a stop to the endless robocall schemes, by instituting a nationwide call authentication technology that will allow every American to verify and block every call they receive, allowing consumers to trust their caller ID again. This bill also included language I helped introduce which would prevent the harmful practice of one-ring scams that pray on the most vulnerable populations.
To learn more about this decade in the making legislation, click here.
Preserving a Free and Open Internet
The Internet has been a catalyst for economic growth over the past 20 years because it has remained unfettered from undue government regulation and interference. In light of the FCC order to restore the open Internet framework that existed prior to 2015, it is time for Congress to codify a bipartisan, light-touch regulatory framework while also establishing clear and permanent protections for consumers.
Please know I am a committed to working with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to advance a bipartisan legislative solution that protects a free and open Internet and encourages greater broadband investment to help close the digital divide. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1006, a bill which largely tracks past bipartisan proposals, I am committed to robustly protecting consumers.
Michigan has been at the forefront of automotive innovation since the inception of the automobile, and the development of self-driving vehicles is the next chapter in American auto story. We must establish a federal framework that ensures these vehicles are safe for passengers and the public, while also encouraging timely testing and deployment that allows us to remain the world leader. I worked with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to develop the SELF DRIVE Act, a bipartisan initiative to allow for the development, testing, and deployment of self-driving cars. The SELF DRIVE Act passed the House unanimously in September 2017 and you can learn more about this landmark initiative here.
06/25/20 – Sponsored Legislation: H.R. 7378, Broadband Deployment Act
01/09/20 – Sponsored Legislation: H.R. 5573, PROTECT Kids Act
06/24/19 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 3375, Stopping Bad Robocalls Act
06/13/19 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 3264, Ending One-Ring Scams Act of 2019
05/09/19 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 2610, Stop Senior Scams Act
03/28/19 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 1006, Open Internet Act of 2019
03/27/19 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 1860, No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act
02/19/19 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.Con.Res.20, Supporting Local Radio Freedom Act
11/30/17 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R.3787, Small Entity Regulatory Relief Opportunity Act of 2017
11/29/17 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 2345, National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act
09/05/17 – Cosponsored Legislation: H.R. 3388, SELF DRIVE Act