WASHINGTON (Oct. 27, 2021) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement applauding President Joe Biden’s nomination and designation of Jessica Rosenworcel to serve as permanent Chair of the Federal Communications Commission.
“This is a welcome announcement given Jessica Rosenworcel’s dedication to public service and her years of fighting for telecommunications policies on behalf of all Americans,” said Heinrich. “I thank Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel for her recent actions to update the FCC rulebook, allowing more Tribes to connect to the E-rate program. This effort mirrors provisions in my Tribal Connect Act and creates more paths for Tribal communities to access to the internet. If confirmed, I look forward to working with Chairwoman Rosenworcel, along with Senator Luján, to strengthen broadband opportunities for rural and Tribal communities across New Mexico.”
Senators Heinrich and Luján have been leading the charge to increase broadband access for Tribal communities with their bipartisan, bicameral Tribal Connect Act. This legislation would amended current E-rate eligibility requirements to allow more Tribal libraries to apply for the program and would establish a pilot program to invest in broadband access for Tribal communities without libraries. The bill also allows Tribal College and University libraries to become eligible for E-rate support.