Florida Republicans Join Effort to Disconnect ‘Obama Phones’ | Sunshine State News
By Eric Giunta
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., on Wednesday became the latest of nearly four-dozen congressmen, five of them from Florida’s delegation, to co-sponsor legislation that would end one of the most controversial and widely lambasted Obama-era welfare programs: ‘free’ taxpayer-funded cell phones.“
“It defies common sense that we are giving away millions of free cell phones at the same time the Federal Aviation Administration imposes cutbacks that are delaying flights across the nation,” Buchanan said in a statement announcing his co-sponsorship of HR 176, a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Griffin, R-Ark. “The federal government is not an unlimited plan. The Stop Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act is a step in the right direction to show the American people that Congress is serious about rooting out the waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. It’s time to disconnect this boondoggle.”
The so-called “Obama phones” are not basic phones that only dial out to 9-11; they include camera phones and smart phones, given to program recipients without charge and with 100 free monthly minutes. The ‘free’ phones – which came to public attention after local media coverage of an Obama supporter bragging about the benefit went viral on YouTube during last year’s presidential election cycle — are paid for by taxpayers through a “universal service fund” included on their monthly cell phone bill.