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Democrats want hearing on 'Obama phone' program
The Hill ^ | 7 Mar 13 | Brendan Sasso

Posted on 03/07/2013 2:57:13 PM PST by SkyPilot

Three leading House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats are calling for an oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program, a phone subsidy for the poor that has been disparagingly referred to as the "Obama phone" program.

The program, which began long before President Obama took office, has been notorious for waste and abuse. The FCC enacted reforms last year aimed at trimming billions of dollars from the program, but recent reports indicate that people who are ineligible for the program are still receiving subsidies.

The program gained more attention last year when conservatives seized on a viral video of a woman saying she would vote for President Obama because he gave her a free phone. Republicans have claimed the program is a "massive entitlement" that is making people dependent on the government.

Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee's ranking member, Anna Eshoo (Calif.), the ranking member of the Communications and Technology subcommittee, and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), the ranking member of the Oversight subcommittee, sent a letter on Thursday to their Republican counterparts, requesting a hearing to examine the Lifeline program and efforts to contain its costs.

They did not dispute the value of the program, writing that "universal access to communications services is a longstanding national policy goal."

"Since 1985, the Lifeline program has helped tens of millions of low-income Americans get and keep a telephone in their home," the Democrats wrote. But they blamed the Bush administration for making the program more wasteful. They wrote that the expansion of the program from landline service to cellular service, which occurred in 2005, "created new risks for waste, fraud, and abuse."

(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: California; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: annaeshoo; budget; bush; bushsfault; california; colorado; democrats; dianadegette; henrywaxman; lifeline; lifelineprogram; obamaphone; turnaboutfairplay; waste; wastefraudabuse
Interesting.

I wonder if both the Democrats and the Republicans are starting to realize that since they are cutting medical care (TRICARE) to active duty and retired veterans due to the Sequester cuts, it is sort of hard to justify this:

In 2008, the program was expanded to support cell phones which quickly escalated the cost of the program. In 2008 the program cost $772 million, but by 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.


1 posted on 03/07/2013 2:57:15 PM PST by SkyPilot
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Woman hoards "30" Government Life line phones or Obama phones
2 posted on 03/07/2013 3:00:47 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
The program, which began long before President Obama took office...

The Hill should save their blue dress every time they service the president.

The original program provided land lines to people who couldn't afford phones. It would allow them to call emergency services, if they needed to.

Obama changed it to hand out cellphones and free minutes to any grifter and leech who asked. Many of them have a half dozen.

3 posted on 03/07/2013 3:02:16 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

The program, which began long before President Obama took office...
The Hill should save their blue dress every time they service the president.

You are right sir.
This program was put over on American taxpayers by the Clintoon administration. Of course no mention of this was made in the story. Just the line: The program, which began long before President Obama took office.. Kind of makes it sound like Bushes fault.


4 posted on 03/07/2013 3:07:30 PM PST by cquiggy
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To: dead

The left can’t tell it straight otherwise it blows their cover.


5 posted on 03/07/2013 3:08:32 PM PST by spawn44 (MOO)
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To: SkyPilot

Every month the government pays the monthly bill; every month Obama’s big supporters rake in millions of dollars and funnel the money back to Obama. Just before the 2012 election Ohio residents received almost a million of these ‘free’ phones.


6 posted on 03/07/2013 3:13:34 PM PST by Ronaldus Magnus III (Do, or do not, there is no try.)
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To: SkyPilot
"universal access to communications services is a longstanding national policy goal."

Change that policy goal to: self-sufficiency.

7 posted on 03/07/2013 3:28:50 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Due Process 2013: "Burn the M*****-F***er Down!")
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks SkyPilot.
...the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program, a phone subsidy for the poor that has been disparagingly referred to as the "Obama phone" program.
And now the money shot:
The program, which began long before President Obama took office...
Get it? Bush's fault! How DARE Republicans shut down the government!!! Partisan Media Shills carry water for their party once again.
...has been notorious for waste and abuse. The FCC enacted reforms last year aimed at trimming billions of dollars from the program, but recent reports indicate that people who are ineligible for the program are still receiving subsidies.

8 posted on 03/07/2013 3:38:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SkyPilot

They need to take away their subsidised internet accounts as well.Why the hell they should give these Non-working SOB’s the same things working people have to work their Ass’s off for is beyond me.

If they want an internet connection they can go Work or go to the library and use the public connection there.


9 posted on 03/07/2013 3:40:54 PM PST by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: SkyPilot

Mom used to make us carry a dime in our pocket.


10 posted on 03/07/2013 3:45:56 PM PST by Gator113 ( ~just keep livin~)
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To: SkyPilot
Bit by bit all the freebies will slip away. They don't need your votes right now, sheeple.

The plantation owners will take the perks away so they can promise to restore them next election.

And you'll vote for them again, you idiots.

11 posted on 03/07/2013 3:55:54 PM PST by ZOOKER ( Exploring the fine line between cynicism and outright depression)
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To: cquiggy
Lifeline program started in 1985.
Draws money from the Universal Service Fund (funded by paying phone customers).

It's my understanding the USF started to bleed red ink because of adding cell phone to this program. Will it get fixed ? or will they come after more money from the paying phone users ?

12 posted on 03/07/2013 5:43:03 PM PST by stylin19a (obama - Fredo smart)
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To: SkyPilot
The Washington Examiner article you linked in reply 1 says "In 2008, the program was expanded to support cell phones..."

But according to The Hill:

But [the Democrats] blamed the Bush administration for making the program more wasteful. They wrote that the expansion of the program from landline service to cellular service, which occurred in 2005, "created new risks for waste, fraud, and abuse."

So was the program expanded to pay for cell service in 2005, or in 2008?

Either way, it appears Bush will be blamed -- and that's the only reason Dems are looking into this.

13 posted on 03/07/2013 5:52:13 PM PST by shhrubbery! (NIH!)
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To: SkyPilot
The only FAIR thing to do is to prosecute the Fraudsters, and deduct from their EBT's the amount fraudulently incurred by taxpayers during the period they had the Obamaphone service.

(Don't hold your breath for EBT Deductions for ANYTHING)

14 posted on 03/07/2013 6:32:18 PM PST by traditional1 (Amerika.....Providing public housing for the Mulatto Messiah)
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To: dead

> Obama changed it to hand out cellphones and free minutes to any grifter and leech who asked. Many of them have a half dozen.

And who are the types that usually have that many phones? Either drug dealers, professional conmen, and cheaters...


15 posted on 03/07/2013 6:44:35 PM PST by jsanders2001
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To: dead
Obama changed it to hand out cellphones and free minutes to any grifter and leech who asked. Many of them have a half dozen.

Moron. Obviously you can't read. Obama wasn't president in 2005.

This day in age, a basic cell phone--and that's all they are--makes sense as a landline substitute if there's going to be a program like this.

The program isn't paid for through income taxes but via Universal Service fees paid by people who choose to buy phone service. Under law and TOS only one person her household can have one of these phones. If there are people committing fraud, find them and charge them. Maybe call in a drone strike. /s

16 posted on 03/07/2013 7:43:32 PM PST by newzjunkey (bah)
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To: newzjunkey
Excuse me, but you are an effin' idiot.

Obama greatly expanded the program so that anybody who receives food stamps, supplemental nutrition assistance, Medicaid, SSI, Child Health Insurance Plan, school lunches, low-income energy assistance, Section 8 Public Housing, or lives on a reservation gets a free phone with free minutes. Free to them anyway, but everybody else who has a phone has to pay for it, dumbass.

And when the hell did I say it was paid for by income taxes?!

However, I did always wonder who the freaking morons are that fall for it when the government calls a tax a "fee" as if there's any difference. Now I know, it's you.

"Der... it's not a tax, it's a fee!"

What a goober you are. "Der... if you don't want to buy the whole ghetto a phone, you don't have to buy a phone for yourself!"

You might just be the dumbest mf on the internet.

17 posted on 03/07/2013 8:07:13 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

Should be something the COngress might be able to resolve if they had a backbone. Gut off the funding for the program, limit access to a single phone number (What, 6 phones? really).

the demodummies are trying to cover their butts and really have not intention of resolving this problem. It’s here to stay like sooooooo many other gubmint waste programs.


18 posted on 03/08/2013 5:21:05 AM PST by DaveA37
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To: Progov

My previous post, Sorry for the poor spelling and writing. You should get my point anyway.


19 posted on 03/08/2013 5:23:03 AM PST by DaveA37
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To: All

all this will become is an opportunity for democrats to drag out the victims of the economy (which they will blame on Republicans) and decry any cuts to any program except defense.. Black women, old people, homeless people that got a new job “because of the Obama phone”.

Just another dog and pony show.


20 posted on 03/08/2013 5:26:19 AM PST by newnhdad (Our new motto: USA, it was fun while it lasted.)
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To: jsanders2001

I think the dems and the left actually are getting a bit nervous about letting their slip show.

They get really defensive when the truth is told about their main constituencies -

THEY’RE A BUNCH OF LAZY FREELOADING PARASITES.

The left hates it when the truth becomes apparent. That’s why they’ve gone from “progressive” to “liberal” back to “progressive” all while promoting fascist and communist ideals.


21 posted on 03/08/2013 5:29:17 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SkyPilot
...a phone subsidy for the poor that has been disparagingly referred to as the "Obama phone" program.



Gee, why do Americans think the drive-by media are a bunch of belly-crawling, commie-symp, throne-sniffing, lying scumbags?

(Image from http://obamaphone.net/)
22 posted on 03/08/2013 7:55:47 AM PST by Peet (Notice: Due to the high price of ammo, there will be NO warning shots.)
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