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Biden, Harris to lay out $40B plan to guarantee internet for all
As Congress starts a two-week break, the White House kicks off a three-week promotional tour for President Biden’s economic agenda. First up: New funding to connect every American to broadband.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Congress starts a two-week recess today that gives the White House an opportunity to fill the news lull that often happens when lawmakers are away from Capitol Hill.
Case in point: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris this morning will announce more than $40 billion in infrastructure to all 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia to connect everyone in America to high-speed internet.
If you’re reading this newsletter, you probably have reliable internet access. But with one in five households unconnected to home internet, a digital divide persists that excludes latent creators from getting noticed and paid for the brilliance they bring to the world.
A senior administration official told Supercreator that the investment is about US competitiveness and ensuring Americans can advance in the new economy, whether by investing in roads, bridges, water systems, or expanding high-speed internet access.
“And so it’s absolutely going to have a dramatic and positive impact for every sector of the economy,” the official said. “But particularly for folks that rely on high-speed internet like the creator economy.”
Congress approved the funding for the announcement in bipartisan infrastructure law President Biden signed in November 2021 with the largest chunk of the money doled out to the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program — a Commerce Department initiative for internet infrastructure.
After this afternoon’s announcement, states will be notified of their BEAD allocations and given six months to submit their initial proposals to NTIA for what they plan to do with the funding. Once plans are approved, states can access up to 20 percent of their funds.
States will then run a competitive self-granting process next spring and submit a final plan to NTIA for approval the following spring, which is when they will receive the remaining allocations.
Obviously, 18 months is a while for this investment to reach all Americans who need it. But the White House pointed to what it described as a $25 billion down payment from the American Rescue Plan passed last Congress and signed into law by President Biden two months after he took office to respond to the pandemic.
This initial round of funding sent $10 billion to states, territories, and tribal governments to bolster their internet infrastructure. To close the homework gap exacerbated by the pandemic, an additional $7 billion went to schools and libraries for families without devices for virtual learning. And another $7 billion went to state and local governments to expand affordable digital connectivity.
The infrastructure law has already funded additional programs, including a $1 billion grant program to expand middle-mile infrastructure and reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas to the internet. $2.75 billion will fund three grant programs that promote digital equity and inclusion. Two separate $2 billion investments will bring high-speed internet to tribal and rural lands. And a little over $14 billion went to the Affordable Connectivity Program, which saves eligible families $30 per month on their internet bill.
This new investment is intended to finish the job the previous funding has already started.
The announcement coincides with the kickoff of the White House’s second Investing in America tour, a three-week stint that overlaps with the congressional Independence Day break.
During the tour, President Biden and White House leaders will travel to communities benefiting from his agenda and call out congressional Republicans for their ongoing attempts to repeal key provisions passed in signature laws like the CHIPS and Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act, and bipartisan infrastructure law.
The White House and President Biden’s re-election campaign is betting that a relentless focus on the practical impact of his agenda — internet for all, a reduction in junk fees, student loan cancelation, clean energy investments — will resonate with a coalition weary of the torrential chaos that has defined the House Republican majority six months in the new Congress.
“I think the American people need to have the confidence that we’re going to do what we say we’re going to do,” President Biden said during a fundraiser last week for his re-election campaign. “And I think the combination of keeping the economy growing and keeping the economy growing in a way that everyone has a shot at benefiting from it, everyone is engaged.”
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Welcome to Supercreator Daily, the indispensable guide to the politicians, power brokers, and policies shaping the American creator experience. It’s Monday, June 26, 2023. Your Daily author made it halfway through Season 2 of The Bear this weekend and NGL: He dreamt of switching this journalism life for culinary school for a split sec.
TODAY IN POLITICS
All times Eastern
11:45 a.m. President Biden and Vice President Harris will announce new investments for universal affordable internet access. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will attend.
12:30 p.m. The president and vice president will have lunch.
2 p.m. The president will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
2:30 p.m. Vice President Harris will leave Washington, DC to travel to New York City where she will arrive at 3:25 p.m.
7:30 p.m. The vice president will speak at a campaign fundraiser in NYC.
8:40 p.m. Vice President Harris will leave New York and return to DC at 9:40 p.m.
Biden’s week ahead:
Tuesday: The president will travel to Chevy Chase, Maryland to participate in campaign fundraisers.
Wednesday: President Biden will travel to Chicago to discuss his economic vision and participate in campaign fundraisers.
Thursday: The president will travel to New York, New York to participate in campaign fundraisers.
Friday: President Biden will speak about the economy and will travel to Camp David for the weekend.
Harris’s week ahead:
Tuesday: The vice president will be in DC with no public events scheduled.
Wednesday: Vice President Harris will be in DC with no public events scheduled.
Thursday: The vice president will travel to New Orleans to speak about supporting small businesses at the ESSENCE Festival and to speak at a campaign fundraiser.
Friday: Vice President Harris will speak about issues ranging from protecting reproductive freedom to addressing the maternal crisis at ESSENCE before traveling to Los Angeles.
The House and Senate are out.
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THEY DID THAT
President Biden spoke with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to discuss the weekend coup attempt against Russian President Vladimir Putin by the Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization led by Yevgeny Prigozhin. Biden and Zelenskyy also discussed Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Russia.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced a resolution to secure legal protections for US Senate staff to unionize.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) introduced a resolution to condemn human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. The resolution follows Omar’s boycott of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India’s joint address to Congress last week.
Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Jen Higgins (R-Va.) and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Shelley Moore Capito launched the Assisting Caregivers Caucus to educate the members and the public about the challenges caregivers face and to promote policies that support them.
Rep. Ruben Gallego introduced a bill to ensure all federal law enforcement officers get their full retirement benefits.
Keisha Lance Bottoms, the former Atlanta mayor and Biden administration senior official, gave a Twitter troll a lesson on entitlement.
Former ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd called out the hypocrisy of some of the right’s most vocal critics.
The FDA issued new draft guidance for designing clinical trials for the use of psychedelic drugs for potential treatment of medical conditions — including psychiatric or substance use disorders.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced the US will establish a global coalition next month to address synthetic drug threats.
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