How Congress Used a Fake Emergency to Create Web Welfare

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A boy takes a Zoom class at the Westchester Family YMCA which provides safe distance learning for local students in Los Angeles, Calif., March 2, 2021. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
We didn’t need a new entitlement program — yet Washington created one anyway.




NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE

C
ongress created a new $3.2 billion government program buried deep within an omnibus spending bill that is based on an emergency that doesn’t exist. It’s called the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, and it will likely stick around after the pandemic emergency has ended.

How this happened is a case study in how Washington works — how free-spending habits combine with a perpetual sense of crisis to justify just about anything. As with most things, it started with good intentions and sensible steps.

When schools closed at the start of the pandemic, access to broadband Internet became a big concern. Students would need …

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