Press Release: National Hispanic Media Coalition on Debunked Claims Against Lifeline Program

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2016 Contact: Christina DiPasquale,

National Hispanic Media Coalition on Debunked Claims Against Lifeline Program

 Accusations of Fraud from House Conservatives Based on Bad Data, Faulty Assumptions of Multi-Household Addresses, Including Residents of Veteran Group Homes, Nursing Homes and Homeless Shelters

Today, Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone released an investigation that dismantled the core arguments of fraud brought by House conservatives against the Federal Communication Commission’s Lifeline program, which has provided discounted and no-charge phone service to millions of low-income Americans to make emergency calls, apply for jobs, learn and stay connected. The report found that claims by detractors erroneously assumed that nearly every Lifeline application received from a multi-household address—including veteran group homes, nursing homes, and homeless shelters—was fraudulent.  Said Jessica González, executive vice president and general counsel at the National Hispanic Media Coalition: “This perpetual criminalization of the poor must come to an end and we have to ensure that no needy family is turned away from the essential services provided to them by the Lifeline program. The fact is that you can’t do much without a phone—you are unable to place emergency calls in times of crisis and you can’t get that call back for a job—things that people with phone service can often take for granted but are still major problems for many Americans. “Now that Lifeline provides the option of home broadband, instead of phone service, it has the potential to usher in even more economic mobility, where anyone can search online to find employment, health care and educational resources. Economic progress and educational opportunity are bipartisan and it’s high time that politicians work across the aisle to maintain and continually improve the Lifeline program that has worked for three decades as the only government program dedicated to bringing phone and internet service within reach for people of color, the poor, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and the less educated. “Phone and internet services are tools we need to thrive in the 21st century and connecting more people to them is of the utmost importance. Investing in the future of our communities and our next generation of leaders is something we should all support.” Learn more about the importance of the Lifeline program here To qualify for the program, Lifeline subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or they must participate in certain assistance programs. Nearly 13 million low-income Americans used the program as of October 2015, which is about 33 percent of those who are eligible.



National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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