Tim Griffin: May 13, 2012

Uncle Sam’s Unlimited Plan!

Yet another government idea gone bad and costing us millions of dollars and little is being said about it … that is until Congressman Griffin brought it front and center.

Congressman Tim Griffin ® Arkansas Second District

Uncle Sam’s Unlimited Plan


Tim Griffin was elected the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District on November 2, 2010. The youngest son of a minister and teacher, Tim is a fifth generation Arkansan, veteran, attorney and former small business owner who lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth and their two children.
For the 112th Congress, he is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the House Committee on the Judiciary, and is an Assistant Whip for the majority. As part of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tim serves as Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia. 
Tim is currently serving in his 16th year as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, holds the rank of major, and is assigned to the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group as the Command Judge Advocate.

The Facts

The Lifeline Program was established in 1984 to subsidize landline phone service for low-income individuals.  Under the program, telecommunications carriers submit reimbursement requests to the government-run Universal Service Fund (USF) to receive a subsidy for services provided to qualifying low-income subscribers. The USF is funded through fees collected from telecommunications carriers which are directly passed onto their customers, as part their telephone bill.
In 2008, the Lifeline Program was expanded to include wireless service providers. Between 2008 and 2009, non-landline costs for the program doubled – from $143 million to $384 million – and then doubled again, totaling over $719 million in 2010.
Before the certification of the first wireless carrier, the overall Lifeline Program cost $822 million per year, an amount consistent with the previous five years. That number grew to $1.025 billion in 2009 and to $1.315 billion in 2010.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, it is common for multiple wireless service providers to seek reimbursement for Lifeline services provided to the same household.

What You Can Do to Help End Uncle Sam’s Unlimited Plan

I’ve heard from many Arkansans about one wasteful Washington program that’s riddled with instances of abuse. It’s a government-run, taxpayer-funded program that’s running wild and costing more and more. The evidence is stacking up: dead people are receiving free cell phones in the mail, eligible and ineligible individuals are obtaining more than one, and electronic kiosks have been stationed in convenience stores to spread the word about this “free” opportunity. The truth is, though, that taxpayers are footing the bill. The program is called Lifeline, but in reality it’s turned into Uncle Sam’s Unlimited Plan. My bill returns the Lifeline program back to its original structure by ending federal subsidies for free cell phone services. This growing government cell phone program is costing American consumers and taxpayers, and my bill puts an end to it.

Speak Your Mind