Two bills proposing major changes to the FCC’s Lifeline program have been introduced in the House of Representatives:
- Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA) has introduced the End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act (H.R. 3546), which would eliminate Lifeline support for mobile voice and data service. The bill would allow Lifeline support for landline service to continue for eligible participants.
- Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK) has introduced the REAPPLY Act (H.R. 3621), which would require Lifeline subscribers to reapply for support on an annual basis. Currently, once Lifeline recipients apply and meet eligibility requirements, they only have to re-certify their eligibility in subsequent years.
Both bills come on the heels of a GAO report revealing evidence of fraud, waste, and abuse in the Lifeline program. H.R.s 3546 and 3621 have been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.