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Flores Files Bill to Reprioritize Free Cell Phone Program Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) has introduced legislation that would reprioritize the use of taxpayer dollars that are currently used by the federal program which provides government subsidized cell phones.    

“In light of the out-of-control spending in Washington and the across-the-board cuts initiated through the president’s sequester, it is time to prioritize federal spending for essential services,” Congressman Flores said. “Last week, I asked my constituents for their input on wasteful government spending projects. Through their responses, I came up with legislation that would cut waste and ensure that essential programs are funded.”  

In 2012, the government spent $2.2 billion on the taxpayer funded subsidized cell phone program. Flores introduced H.R. 989, to prohibit the use of federal funds to this program. H.R. 989 would instead redirect those funds go to Department of Defense (DOD) naval maintenance and operations and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations.

“Funding cuts pursuant to the president’s sequester have caused the delay in the deployment of DOD naval assets to critical international areas, and for the FAA to cut $600 million from its budget. The DOD cuts jeopardize our national security, and the Administration has stated that the FAA cuts could cause air travel delays. In Texas District 17, the latter cuts may impact operations in at least two airports whose tower operations have been put on notice for possible closure due to these cuts,” Flores stated.
Under H.R. 989, $1.6 billion would be redirected to the Navy so that it can proceed with the previously scheduled deployment of aircraft carrier assets that were delayed under the president’s sequester. To offset the need to implement the president’s sequester order to furlough FAA air traffic controllers $500 million will be directed to the FAA.  

“This proposed reprioritization of funds from the fraud ridden government subsidized cell phone program would restore funding to essential and constitutionally mandated federal government programs,”  said Flores. “H.R. 989 is a good starting point to curb wasteful spending. There are still many other non-essential programs that are being funded and at a time when we need to control spending.  During the next few months, my conservative House colleagues and I will disclose more wasteful programs to the American public and we will give our taxpayers a say on legislative fixes to reprioritize federal spending.”

To view the text of H.R. 989 CLICK HERE.

Congressman Bill Flores represents the 17th District of Texas and is an entrepreneur, former energy executive, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and member of the House Budget, Natural Resources and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.