Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) today announced the formation of a bipartisan working group of Energy and Commerce Committee members that will work to promote rural telecommunication issues within the Committee. The 18-member group -- split evenly between Republicans and Democrats -- was founded by Welch and Latta.
"The challenges facing rural Americans, especially in the area of telecommunications, cut across party lines," Welch and Latta said. "From broadband access and spectrum issues, to problems with call completion, rural areas of our districts often have unique concerns. This bipartisan working group will serve as a forum to educate committee Members on rural issues to ensure that rural priorities are understood and addressed in the important work of this Committee."
The Rural Telecommunications Working Group will provide a forum for Committee Members to learn more about how telecommunications issues in the Committee's jurisdiction impact rural communities. The Working Group will meet to highlight issues such as call completion, spectrum auctions, broadband access, and broadband speed.
In addition to co-chairs Welch and Latta, Members of the Rural Telecommunications Working Group include: John Barrow (D-Ga.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Lee Terry (R-Neb.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Corey Gardner (R-Colo.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).