FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2013
González touts the Lifeline program as a "pathway out of poverty"
- This morning, Jessica González, the Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs for the National Hispanic Media Coalition ("NHMC"), will testify
before the House of Representatives in defense of the Lifeline program, a program designed to make basic communications services affordable for poor families. The hearing, entitled "The Lifeline Fund: Money Well Spent?"
will be convened by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Communications & Technology.
Lifeline is a federal benefit program that subsidizes landline or wireless phone service for low-income families. The program provides a direct benefit of about ten dollars per month for one service per household for families living at 135 percent of the federal poverty level, or who participate in one of a handful of other federal benefit programs, such as food stamps. NHMC has long advocated for Lifeline to evolve to cover broadband services to help close the digital divide and supports the Broadband Adoption Act of 2013, recent legislation introduced by Representatives Matsui, Eshoo, and Waxman on this issue.
During her testimony, Ms. González will highlight: the long history of bipartisan support of Lifeline; the positive impact the program has on the economy, employment, and public safety; the real people that the program helps; and recent reforms implemented by the Federal Communications Commission. Ms. González will share the stories of Lifeline customers across the country.
The following excerpts are from Ms. González' oral testimony:
"The question posed by today's hearing is whether the Lifeline program is 'money well spent?' I answer with a resounding 'yes.' Lifeline has an important goal: to ensure that all
people have access to affordable communications. Lifeline is a treasured tool that achieves broad societal goals such as upward mobility. It positively and directly affects our economy, employment, healthcare, public safety, strong families, civic participation, and education."
"Stories in the media of corporate abuse for profit have drowned out the voices of the very real people that use Lifeline as a tool to improve their lives and move away from government assistance."
"The vast majority of Lifeline recipients are grateful seniors, deserving veterans, and many folks who are going through the hardest times of their lives - facing job losses, illnesses, disability and family tragedies. For these people, Lifeline literally lives up to its name and must continue."
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. EST and will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2123. For more information about the hearing, including the written testimony of all witnesses and live video, please click here
Ms. González' full written testimony is also available at this link